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Preview: Islanders at Blues

Islanders finishing nine-game road trip; Carter Hutton in goal for St. Louis

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ISLANDERS (32-23-11) at BLUES (34-27-5)

8 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-MW, MSG+, NHL.TV

 
Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders will end a franchise-record nine-game road trip looking to keep the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Islanders, who are 5-2-1 on the trip, lead the Toronto Maple Leafs by one point. "You look at the fact we're 5-2-1 and say, 'That's a good trip no matter what,'" coach Doug Weight said. "I guess it would be on most times, but people are winning. It's that time of year where teams are going to get points. We're one point up right now and we've got to win the game. We've gained some confidence on the road as a team I think, the style we have to play. We've played a lot of different teams with different elements, but the record right now means nothing. We have 75 points and teams have 74 and 76, 71; we've got to win a game. It would be a great trip if we can win." Defenseman Scott Mayfield, a St. louis native, will step into the lineup against his childhood team. Weight, who said he forgot that Mayfield was from St. Louis, informed the defenseman that he was dressing 10 minutes before he left the ice. "We've had two really strong games, so maybe they were going to keep the same lineup," said Mayfield, who projected that 25-30 family members and friends would be at the game. "[Weight] let me know on the ice I was in, so that was pretty special." Goaltender Thomas Greiss will start for the ninth straight game.

 

Blues team scope

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko is questionable after missing the third period of a 4-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday with an undisclosed injury. Coach Mike Yeo wouldn't commit as to whether Parayko, who was checked behind his own net by Ducks right wing Patrick Eaves late in the second period, was would dress. The Blues enter Saturday with a three-point lead on the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference; they trail the Nashville Predators by two points for third place in the Central Division after a dramatic win Friday on defenseman Joel Edmundson's goal with 19.8 seconds remaining in the third period. "We're at the point in the season where that shouldn't be an excuse," Yeo said. "We come in this morning, we look at a little video, some things that we did well, some things that we need to do better and then we concentrate on the Islanders and figure out what the best game plan is and make sure that we're getting prepared to go out and execute that. This is a team ... they've been playing very well since the coaching change. They're playing with an awful lot of confidence right now, they're as hot as anybody and we're going to have to be at our best." Carter Hutton will get the start in goal after Jake Allen played Friday. The Blues are 7-2-0 in the second of back-to-back games this season.

 
Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey

Andrew Ladd -- Ryan Strome -- Jason Chimera

Nikolay Kulemin -- Brock Nelson -- Joshua Ho-Sang

Stephen Gionta -- Anthony Beauvillier -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Scott Mayfield

Calvin de Haan -- Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey -- Dennis Seidenberg

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratched: Adam Pelech

Injured: Casey Cizikas (hand), Johnny Boychuk (foot), Shane Prince (ankle), Alan Quine (upper body)

 

Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Alexander Steen -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Ivan Barbashev -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Carter Hutton

Jake Allen

Scratched: Jori Lehtera, Nail Yakupov, Zach Sanford, Jordan Schmaltz

Injured: Robby Fabbri (knee)

 

Status report

With Mayfield in, Pelech will be a healthy scratch. ... Barbashev will replace Lehtera, who was hit in the face with a clearing attempt by Edmundson late in the third period; however, it's not known if Lehtera's absence is injury-related or whether he's a healthy scratch. If Parayko can't play, Schmaltz will dress.

 

Who's hot

Tavares has four points (two goals, two assists) in the past three games and nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past nine games. Bailey has five assists in the past three games, including three in a 4-3 overtime win at the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. ... Schwartz has five assists in his past five games. Pietrangelo has a point in five of the past six games (one goal, four assists).

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