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Preview: Blues at Bruins

Forward David Backes faces St. Louis for first time since signing with Boston as free agent

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BLUES (10-6-3) at BRUINS (11-7-0) 



Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues have won three in row but have lost their past four road games and are 2-5-1 away from Scottrade Center. They have a chance to change that at the Boston Bruins on Tuesday and the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. "We won road games at the start of the year on last year's energy and we've got to create our own energy," coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We've got to play better than we've played. We have to manage every part of our game better." The Blues have scored at least three goals in four straight games and have the best road power play (9-for-27) in the NHL. Goalie Jake Allen, who has won three straight, will start for St. Louis.


Bruins team scope

Forward David Backes will play against the Blues for the first time since signing with the Bruins as an unrestricted free agent July 1. Backes played 10 seasons in St. Louis, including five as Blues captain. "I think you relish the opportunity playing your old team. But at the same time there's unfamiliar territory," Backes said. "There's not a ton of stuff that I haven't experienced in this league but this is certainly one of them, that in 10 years I haven't played against that jersey or against that emblem. But as long I'm shooting on the right net, I think we'll be just fine." Backes has three goals and four assists in 13 games for the Bruins, who have won four of their past five and are 8-3-0 in their past 11 games. The Bruins have won three straight at home.


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- David Perron

Robby Fabbri -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Patrik Berglund -- Ty Rattie

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Robert Bortuzzo -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Petteri Lindbohm, Nail Yakupov

Injured: Joel Edmundson (upper body), Alexander Steen (upper body)


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- Riley Nash

Matt Beleskey -- David Krejci -- David Backes

Tim Schaller -- Ryan Spooner -- Austin Czarnik

Sean Kuraly -- Dominic Moore -- Jimmy Hayes

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Joe Morrow -- John-Michael Liles

Tuukka Rask

Zane McIntyre

Scratched: Colin Miller

Injured: Kevan Miller (hand), David Pastrnak (upper body)


Status report

Steen will miss his third straight game. He did not travel with the Blues to Boston. Hitchcock said he'll make a game-time decision whether Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game or if Rattie will be scratched. ... Pastrnak remains day to day and will miss his third straight game. Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin remains with Providence of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment. He is scheduled to make his third start for Providence against Richmond on Wednesday and then Boston will assess if he's ready to return to the NHL.


Who's hot

Tarasenko has at least one point in seven of his past eight games (3-4-7). Perron has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. ... Rask is 5-1-0 with a 0.84 goals-against average and .965 save percentage in his past six starts.

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