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Preview: Blues at Ducks

St. Louis aims for sixth straight win; emphasis on defense for Anaheim after faltering in third period

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (36-27-5) at DUCKS (36-23-10)

10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues will try to extend their winning streak to six games against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. Coach Mike Yeo said forward Dmitrij Jaskin will be out at least one week after sustaining an upper-body injury in a 3-1 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. Nail Yakupov will move into the lineup for the third time this month and replace Jaskin on a line with Ivan Barbashev and Magnus Paajarvi. "We lose a guy here in [Jaskin] who's been playing well and a big heavy body that certainly would have been a factor in a type of game like this," Yeo said. "But [Yakupov], his speed and the way that he played last game, sort of the detail in his game and making sure he's taking care of things in our end, as well as the other end, then he gives himself a good chance to be a heckuva player for us." Forward David Perron played 35 games with the Anaheim Ducks last season after he was traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had an assist in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Ducks at Honda Center on Jan. 15 and has four points (two goals, two assists) during the winning streak. Perron said playing on a line with Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf last season made him a better player. "He always knows what he's going to do with the puck before he gets it," Perron said.

 

Ducks team scope

The Ducks allowed two goals in the third period in a 4-3 loss at St. Louis on Friday, including the game-winner with 20 seconds left. But Anaheim has allowed the fewest third-period goals in the NHL (47). Under a different coaching staff last season, the Ducks also led in that category, allowing 59 third-period goals during the regular season. "Over the course of time, if you have a lot of the same guys, which we do, a lot of the core guys, you learn how to play in those close games and play with the lead," defenseman Cam Fowler said. "You have to be able to really clamp down, especially in the third, if you're going to win hockey games." Anaheim is 1-15-0 when allowing at least four goals this season, and coach Randy Carlyle said he has been emphasizing defense since the first day of training camp. "If you're going to be porous on the defensive side of it, you're going to have to score, and scoring is down in the NHL, and it's hard to score," he said. "The goals that are scored are basically either deflections or tap ins or second rebounds that are all scored under the 10-foot range from the net."

 

Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko

David Perron -- Patrik Berglund --     Alexander Steen

Nail Yakupov -- Ivan Barbashev -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Jordan Schmaltz, Zach Sanford

Injured: Dmitrij Jaskin (upper body), Jori Lehtera (upper body)

 

Ducks projected lineup

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Patrick Eaves -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Rickard Rakell

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Corey Perry

Logan Shaw - Nate Thompson - Chris Wagner

Cam Fowler -- Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen -- Korbinian Holzer

Jonathan Bernier

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Brandon Montour, Jared Boll, Ondrej Kase

Injured: John Gibson (lower body), Simon Despres (upper body), Clayton Stoner (lower body)

 

Status report

Kase remained on the ice for extra work following the morning skate Wednesday, indicating he'll be a healthy scratch after playing in the past three games. He scored four goals in his first 25 games this season, but has one in his past 25.

 

Who's hot

Getzlaf has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in the past 10 games. Rakell has eight points (seven goals, one assist) in the past eight games. ... Tarasenko has five points (four goals, one assist) in the past four games. Steen has four points (two goals, two assists) in the past two games. Schwartz has five assists in the past five games.

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