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Blues at Avalanche preview

St. Louis aiming for seventh win in 11 games at Pepsi Center; Bernier expected to start for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

BLUES (5-2-0) at AVALANCHE (4-3-0)

9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-MW, NHL.TV


The Game 

The St. Louis Blues will try to defeat the Colorado Avalanche for the seventh time in their past 11 games at Pepsi Center on Thursday. The Blues, which play the second half of a back-to-back following a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, were 4-0-1 against the Avalanche last season and 6-1-3 in their past 10 road games at Colorado.

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier will start for the Avalanche, who will attempt to end a two-game losing streak. Colorado will attempt to improve to 3-0-0 at home.


Players to watch

Blues forward Jaden Schwartz had a hat trick against the Blackhawks and is tied for third in NHL scoring with 11 points (five goals, six assists), one point behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (eight goals, four assists) and Lightning center Steven Stamkos (two goals, 10 assists). Schwartz has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 17 career games against Colorado.

Avalanche rookie Tyson Jost will move from third-line center to left wing on the first line with center Nathan MacKinnon and right wing Mikko Rantanen. Jost played 15 minutes and had one shot on goal in a 4-1 loss at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday after missing two games with a knee injury.


They said it

"I think if you would have asked us if we'd be 5-2 after seven games, we would have taken it. No-brainer. We've had some really good spurts, we've had some bad spurts, but I think overall we've got to be pleased." -- Blues goaltender Jake Allen

"You certainly don't want that to linger. There's got to be a little sense of urgency coming here to stop it so we don't let it get away from us." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on Colorado's two-game losing streak


Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Sammy Blais

Magnus Paajarvi -- Ivan Barbashev -- Vladimir Sobotka

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Carter Hutton

Jake Allen

Scratched: Nate Prosser, Oskar Sundqvist, Chris Thorburn

Injured: Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Jay Bouwmeester (ankle), Zach Sanford (shoulder)


Avalanche projected lineup

Tyson Jost -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Sven Andrighetto -- Matt Duchene -- Nail Yakupov

Gabriel Landeskog -- Alexander Kerfoot -- J.T. Compher

Colin Wilson -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

Nikita Zadorov -- Erik Johnson

Patrik Nemeth -- Tyson Barrie

Mark Barberio -- Anton Lindholm 

Jonathan Bernier

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Chris Bigras, Andrei Mironov, Matt Nieto

Injured: Sergei Boikov (shoulder)


Status report

Hutton could start for St. Louis. He started the second game in the Blues' previous back-to-back set Oct. 10 and had 32 saves in a 3-1 win against the New York Rangers. ... St. Louis did not conduct a morning skate. … Nemeth will play after missing one game because of a shoulder injury.


Stat pack

The Blues have killed 30 of 31 penalties against the Avalanche in their past 12 games ... The Avalanche are 5-for-35 on power plays, 24th in the League at 14.3 percent.

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