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game preview

Blues at Oilers preview

Allen to start for St. Louis, which eyes sixth straight victory; Smith in goal for Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

BLUES (10-3-3) at OILERS (10-4-2)

8:30 p.m. ET; SN, FS-MW, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

The St. Louis Blues will look to extend their winning streak to six games when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Wednesday in a meeting of the top two teams in the Western Conference.

The Blues, who have won five straight and are 7-1-0 in their past eight games, are coming off a 2-1 overtime victory at the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday; four of St. Louis' wins in their streak have been in overtime.

Goalie Jake Allen is expected to start for the first time since he made 20 saves in a 4-3 win at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

The Oilers are 2-1-0 in their past three games after going 1-3-1 in their previous four games. 

Goalie Mike Smith will start; he's 3-3-1 with a 1.70 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and one shutout in his past seven starts.

 

Players to watch

Blues forward David Perron has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games. He had a game-high seven shots against the Canucks on Tuesday.

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in a six-game point streak and at least one point in 14 of 16 games this season. 

 

They said it

"It's a grind out there. Every team is battling out there, it's tight hockey. Right now, these are tight games, all the games we are playing, and we're finding ways to win right now in OT." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

"I think anytime the Stanley Cup Champions come into your building you use it a measuring-stick game. This is a strong, heavy, playoff-built team and for us we'll definitely see where we stack up here tonight, and it's a game you're going to get up for." -- Oilers forward James Neal

 

Blues projected lineup 

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Robert Thomas

Zach Sanford -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Tyler Bozak -- Sammy Blais

Mackenzie MacEachern -- Ivan Barbashev -- Oskar Sundqvist

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Justin Faulk

Jake Allen

Jordan Binnington

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Robby Fabbri

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Sam Gagner

James Neal -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Zack Kassian

Jujhar Khaira -- Colby Cave -- Patrick Russell

Tomas Jurco -- Gaetan Haas -- Alex Chiasson

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Oscar Klefbom -- Kris Russell

Brandon Manning -- Matt Benning

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen  

Scratched: Markus Granlund, Riley Sheahan, Joel Persson

Injured: Adam Larsson (leg), Joakim Nygard (ribs), Josh Archibald (foot) 

 

Status report

The Blues did not hold a morning skate. … Gagner will start on the Oilers top line for the first time this season. He was recalled from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Oct. 19 … Persson will be replaced by Manning, who had been a healthy scratch the past three games. 

 

Stat pack

O'Reilly has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past five games … Pietrangelo has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past five games … Schwartz has 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 19 games against Edmonton. … McDavid has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past six games.

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