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Preview: Blues at Sabres

Kyle Brodziak to return to for St. Louis; Buffalo looks for third straight win

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (31-22-5) at SABRES (25-23-10)

1 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 
Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues will have center Kyle Brodziak back in their lineup when they look to win their seventh straight game. Brodziak was expected to miss five weeks with a right-foot injury he sustained Jan. 24 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he was activated off injured reserve Friday and will play. "It's obviously been frustrating being out and not being able to contribute," Brodziak told the Blues website Friday. "But [rehabbing] the injury went well and I just had to take some time to let the bone heal. It feels good now." To make room for Brodziak, the Blues sent forward Wade Megan to Chicago of the American Hockey League. Center Paul Stastny (lower body) traveled to Buffalo, but his status won't be known until Saturday morning. He's missed three games. Goaltender Jake Allen is likely to start. He made 18 saves in a 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and is 4-0-0 with six goals-against and one shutoutin his past four starts. The Blues are 7-1-0 since coach Mike Yeo took over for Ken Hitchcock, who was fired Feb. 1.

 

Sabres team scope

The Buffalo Sabres will look to win a third straight game for the first time since they did it Jan. 20-24. Before they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Thursday for their second straight win, the Sabres alternated wins and losses for eight consecutive games. "For a long period of time we've been on a roller coaster of being one up and one down and the highs of winning and the lows of tough losses," coach Dan Bylsma said. "Our approach here is one game at a time here four times in a row here in the last four (before a five-day break starting Monday). It's a big win for us to put two in a row together, but at the same time we need to have an even keel about us going in and playing St. Louis." Defenseman Cody Franson, who sustained a foot injury blocking a shot on Feb. 9 against the Anaheim Ducks, practiced Friday and said he was cleared by doctors and could be available to play Saturday. "Initially [the doctors] thought it was going to be 4-6 [weeks] and then after the CT [scan] they thought they could probably shave it down to two or three," Franson said. "They said it was in a weight-bearing area, but as soon as I could handle the pain I could play." Bylsma did not specify whether Robin Lehner or Anders Nilsson would be the starting goaltender. Lehner is coming off a 23-save shutout against the Avalanche and has started the past five games and nine of the past 10.

 

Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Kenny Agostino -- Ivan Barbashev -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Nail Yakupov, Dmitrij Jaskin

Injured: Paul Stastny (lower body), Robby Fabbri (knee)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Justin Bailey -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno -- Evan Rodrigues -- Brian Gionta

Matt Moulson -- Nicolas Deslauriers -- Tyler Ennis

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Dmitry Kulikov -- Zach Bogosian

Josh Gorges -- Cody Franson

Anders Nilsson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Taylor Fedun, Justin Falk

Injured: Derek Grant (shoulder), Zemgus Girgensons (mid-body), William Carrier (knee), Johan Larsson (wrist)

 

Status report

Kane and Kulikov did not practice Friday. Kane got the day off to rest after he returned Thursday after missing the game Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators with an illness. It was a maintenance day for Kulikov.

 

Who's hot

Berglund has five goals in the past five games. … Kane has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past 12 games. … Eichel has one goal and nine assists in the past eight games.

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