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Routed by Devils last week, Blues get second crack

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues had a short memory after their last encounter with the New Jersey Devils.

However, they had no choice but to be given a stern reminder that the worst loss of the season the Blues suffered was at the hands of the Devils exactly one week ago. Instead of having revenge on their minds the Blues must look at it more as a chance for redemption when the teams play for the second and final time this season Tuesday at Scottrade Center.

The Devils (22-20-11), coming off a 7-3 loss of their own to the New York Rangers on Sunday at Yankee Stadium as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, embarrassed the Blues 7-1 in the only loss the Blues (35-11-5) sustained on their recent four-game trip.

Instead of completely forgetting about it and wiping the slate clean, the Blues will get their chance at redemption quickly.

"The way the game went it wasn't very good on our half," Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. "It's kind of rare that you do get them so close together but we're looking to have a much better effort.

"We were guilty of a lot of things, turning pucks over, not forechecking and that sort of thing. It all goes hand in hand. They've got skilled guys. They're a big team. They play down low and they look for that transition. We've got to be much better 5-on-5. And our penalty kill wasn't very good either."

The Devils chased Brian Elliott from goal in the first period last week, building a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game and never looking back. The Blues would go on to recover in victories against the Rangers and New York Islanders, but coach Ken Hitchcock said the Blues need to be more responsible with the puck.

"Obvious for us, puck management," Hitchcock said. "We got into a track meet and stumbled around and turned way too many pucks over and that gave them … they're a very good rush-attack team. They're very smart, they've got great patience with the puck. If you give them opportunities, 3-on-2s or whatever, they're going to burn you."

The Blues will have Alexander Steen (toe) in the lineup after the forward missed practice Monday and the morning skate Tuesday. Ryan Reaves, normally a fourth-line right wing, skated on the top line in Steen's absence but is a candidate to be scratched Tuesday, although Hitchcock said he did not know who would sit out.

The two teams' projected lineups:


Jacob Josefson - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner

Ryane Clowe - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Eric Gelinas - Anton Volchenkov

Cory Schneider

Martin Brodeur

Scratched: Andrei Loktionov, Jon Merrill

Injured: Peter Harrold (foot)


Jaden Schwartz - David Backes - Alexander Steen

Vladimir Sobotka - Derek Roy - Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi - Patrik Berglund - T.J. Oshie

Brenden Morrow - Maxim Lapierre - Chris Stewart

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ian Cole - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Jordan Leopold, Carlo Colaiacovo, Ryan Reaves

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