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Wild at Blues preview

Minnesota forward Niederreiter looks to extend goal-scoring streak; St. Louis 3-0-0 in second game of back-to-backs

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (11-8-3) at BLUES (16-6-1)

8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-N, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Nino Niederreiter will look to extend his goal-scoring streak to a franchise record seven games when the Minnesota Wild visit the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Saturday.

Niederreiter has scored a goal in six straight games, tying the team record set by Brian Rolston (Jan. 21-Feb. 5, 2008).

The Wild, who have points in seven of their past eight games (6-1-1), defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout on Friday.

Jake Allen will start in goal for the Blues, who had a three-game winning streak end Friday with a 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators, a game started by backup Carter Hutton.

 

Players to watch

Niederreiter has seven goals during the streak including a power-play goal in each of his past five games.

Allen will play the Wild for the first time since the Western Conference First Round series last season, won by the Blues in five games. Allen was 4-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average and .956 save percentage.

 

They said it

"They are the gold standard. I don't know if eager is the right word. It's going to be a great challenge for us, and we're looking forward to challenges. We've done fairly good so far in back-to-backs and we'll see how we do [Saturday]." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on facing St. Louis 

"Our execution was very poor [Friday] all night. That's a team that they've got guys that defend hard and heavy down low and I thought we as opposed to fighting through that hard checking style, we skated away from it, and when you do that, you end up either high in the zone or on the outside. ... We've got to be sharper [on execution]." -- Blues coach Mike Yeo

 
Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Daniel Winnik -- Zack Mitchell -- Chris Stewart

Marcus Foligno -- Matt Cullen -- Tyler Ennis

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Kyle Quincey -- Gustav Olofsson

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Mike Reilly

Injured: Zach Parise (back)

 
Blues projected lineup

Vladimir Sobotka -- Paul Stastny -- Alexander Steen

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Sammy Blais

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Chris Thorburn

Joel Edmundson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Carl Gunnarsson, Nate Prosser

Injured: Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Zach Sanford (shoulder), Magnus Paajarvi (foot)

 

Status report

Each team held a limited morning skate. ... Paajarvi took a shot off his foot Friday, but Yeo expects him to play. ... Blias will play for the first time since Oct. 21. ... Gunnarsson will be a healthy scratch for a third straight game. ... Olofsson will replace Reilly in the lineup.

 

Stat pack 

Dubnyk is 5-0-1 with three shutouts in his past six starts but has allowed four goals in each of his past three games. ... The Blues are 3-0-0 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season and are 18-2-0 with 11 straight wins in such games.

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