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game preview

Rangers at Blues preview

Lundqvist to start for New York; St. Louis goes for eighth straight win at home

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

RANGERS (21-18-4) at BLUES (28-10-7)

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


The Game

Henrik Lundqvist will start for the first time in four games when the New York Rangers play the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Saturday.

The Rangers goalie last played Jan. 2 when he allowed four goals on 29 shots in a 4-3 loss at the Calgary Flames. Lundqvist will play his 882nd game, tying John Vanbiesbrouck for ninth place all-time among NHL goalies.

New York has won two straight games with rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin, who is expected be a healthy scratch; Alexandar Georgiev, who hasn't played since Jan. 4 in a 2-1 loss at the Vancouver Canucks, is expected to be Lundqvist's backup.

The Blues have won seven in a row at home and are looking for their third straight win in a season-long five-game homestand.

St. Louis' 15 home wins are tied for second in the NHL (15-4-3), behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (16-5-3).


Players to watch

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in his past seven games.

Blues forward David Perron has five points (three goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak and 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games.


They said it

"Last three games we've been playing well, playing good defensively. ... We've just got to bring that on the road" -- Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei  

"They've got a lot of skill, especially up front. We have to do a good job of taking care of the puck and tracking and making sure we're not giving those rush chances." -- Blues center Ryan O'Reilly on the Rangers


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Brett Howden -- Filip Chytil -- Kaapo Kakko

Micheal Haley -- Greg McKegg -- Steven Fogarty

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Brendan Smith -- Adam Fox

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: Igor Shesterkin

Injured: Libor Hajek (knee), Brendan Lemieux (hand), Ryan Lindgren (lower body)


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Oskar Sundqvist

Zach Sanford -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Robert Thomas -- Tyler Bozak

Mackenzie MacEachern -- Jacob de la Rose -- Ivan Barbashev

Vince Dunn -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Justin Faulk

Niko Mikkola -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Troy Brouwer, Jordan Kyrou

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), Carl Gunnarsson (arm), Sammy Blais (wrist), Colton Parayko (upper body)


Status report

Rangers coach David Quinn said Friday that Hajek, who has missed 16 straight games, is ready to return but it's not clear if the defenseman will play against the Blues. ... The Rangers held an optional morning skate and Lindgren, a defenseman, took part. ... Parayko, a defenseman, will miss his fourth straight game.


Stat pack

Kreider has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 11 games against the Blues. ... DeAngelo has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the past 2 games. ... Bozak has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games and seven goals in his past 11 games after three goals in 33 games to start the season. ... Schwartz has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. ... O'Reilly has a nine-game point streak (one goal, 10 assists) at Enterprise Center.

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