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Preview: Blues at Coyotes

St. Louis can clinch playoff spot with win, help; Clayton Keller to make Arizona home debut

by Jerry Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (41-28-6) at COYOTES (27-40-9)

10:30 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-A, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues can clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Arizona Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings lose in any fashion against the Calgary Flames. It would be the sixth straight trip to the playoffs for the Blues and the 41st in their 50-year history. The Blues are one point behind the Nashville Predators for third place in the Central Division and have a game in hand. St. Louis is also two points behind the Flames for the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference with a game in hand. "I'll be more proud after we do it," coach Mike Yeo said. "We're in a good position. You come into a game like this tonight and we have a chance to clinch. We can do our part, we need somebody else to do their part. We've said our goal was two parts, the first was to get in it, the second is to make sure our game is real sharp. Making the playoffs is a big deal, so having a chance to do that tonight is exciting." The Blues are 10-1-1 in their past 12 games, allowing 17 goals over that span. Two of those wins came against the Coyotes, including a 4-1 win at St. Louis on Monday. St. Louis has points in 14 straight games (13-0-1) against Arizona, last losing in regulation on April 6, 2012. Goaltender Carter Hutton will make his third start in the past 13 games.

 

Coyotes team scope

Forward Clayton Keller will make his home debut for the Coyotes, and will have different linemates. Keller played with Alexander Burmistrov and Christian Fischer in his NHL debut at St. Louis on Monday, but will play with Christian Dvorak and leading scorer Radim Vrbata in the rematch against the Blues. "It was nice to have a day off and relax a little after everything that happened," said Keller, who went from playing in the NCAA tournament with Boston University on Saturday to playing with Arizona on Monday. "That first game was such a special night, you'll never forget that. We have a lot of rookies on this team. They're helping me because it's a lot different from college. Playing a game here and in this rink for the first time will also be special." The Coyotes have lost three straight and six of their past seven, including two against the Blues. Goaltender Louis Domingue will start; he has won four straight starts, including each of Arizona's past two wins. "You keep putting in hard work and at some point it turns your way," Domingue said. The Blues have beaten the Coyotes 10 straight times, outscoring Arizona 42-13.

 

Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Alexander Steen -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Zach Sanford -- Ivan Barbashev -- Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Jordan Schmaltz -- Robert Bortuzzo

Carter Hutton

Jake Allen

Scratched: Carl Gunnarsson

Injured: Robbie Fabbri (knee), Dmitrij Jaskin (upper body), Jori Lehtera (upper body), Paul Stastny (lower body)

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Anthony Duclair

Brendan Perlini -- Jordan Martinook -- Tobias Rieder

Clayton Keller -- Christian Dvorak -- Radim Vrbata

Lawson Crouse -- Peter Holland -- Josh Jooris

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Connor Murphy

Alex Goligoski -- Anthony DeAngelo

Jakob Chychrun -- Luke Schenn

Louis Domingue

Mike Smith

Scratched: Christian Fischer, Jamie McGinn (personal), Zbynek Michalek, Teemu Pulkkinen

Injured: Kevin Connauton (upper body), Shane Doan (lower body), Brad Richardson (leg)

 

Status report

Stastny will miss a fourth straight game and is not on the trip. Schmaltz will play for the first time in nine games in place of Gunnarsson, who has a minor injury. … Doan will miss his seventh straight game but is getting close to a return. "If he comes out of today looking like he was in practice, I would put him as probable for Friday [against the Washington Capitals]," Tippett said. … McGinn left the team because of a death in the family.

 

Who's hot

Tarasenko has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past 11 games. … Schwartz has five points (three goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak. … Hutton is 6-2-0 in his past eight road starts with a 1.04 goals-against average and .962 save percentage.

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