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Preview: Blues at Wild

Minnesota without defenseman Christian Folin; St. Louis forward Dmitrij Jaskin returns

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (32-27-5) at WILD (42-15-6)

8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Blues team scope

St. Louis Blues forward Dmitrij Jaskin will return after missing two games with an ankle injury. "[Jaskin] deserves to get back in," coach Mike Yeo said. "He's a guy that should be able to win battles, be physical and as much as anything else we have, to make sure that we're making things tough on [Minnesota Wild] goaltender [Devan Dubnyk], and he's a big body that should be able to get to the front of the net." The Blues, 6-3-0 in their past nine road games, ended a five-game losing streak with a 3-0 win at the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. "[Four of the five] games we lost were one-goal games if you take out the empty-netter [in a 4-2 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 26], so for us it's kind of sticking with it, playing with that fearlessness in your mind and that confidence and not sit back," forward Paul Stastny said. "We want to play our game … We're trying to keep playing with that confidence and keep playing with that aggressiveness … For us it's about what we have to do to be at our best and worry about what we can control." The Blues (69 points) hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference; they are one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings. St. Louis is four points behind the Nashville Predators for third place in the Central Division. Goaltender Jake Allen, who made 27 saves against Colorado, is expected to start.

 

Wild team scope

Defenseman Christian Folin will miss at least three weeks with an upper-body injury sustained in the first period of a 3-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. "He's a big man and … when he's playing at the top of his game he's physical and he's solid," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When one guy leaves, another guy's got to come in and replace him and do just as well, and that's what our motto [has been] the whole year." Down to six defensemen, Boudreau said he expects one to be recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League before the Wild begin a five-game road trip Thursday at the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Wild, 12-4-1 in their past 17 games and 7-2-1 in their past 10 home games, have a one-point lead on the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. "If they want to lose 10 in a row, I'd be very happy," Boudreau said of the Blackhawks. "They're playing really well because they're a really good team … We know if we ever wanted to go anywhere, we have to go through Chicago to be successful." Dubnyk, who made 20 saves against the Sharks, will start. He is 8-3-0 with 22 goals allowed in his past 11 games.

Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Alexander Steen -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Jori Lehtera -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Ivan Barbashev, Nail Yakupov, Zach Sanford, Jordan Schmaltz

Injured: Robby Fabbri (knee)

 

Wild projected lineup

Mikael Granlund -- Mikko Koivu -- Jason Zucker

Chris Stewart -- Eric Staal -- Zach Parise

Nino Niederreiter -- Martin Hanzal -- Charlie Coyle

Ryan White -- Erik Haula -- Jason Pominville

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Nate Prosser

Marco Scandella -- Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Jordan Schroeder

Injured: Christian Folin (upper body)

 

Status update

The Wild reassigned forward Tyler Graovac to Iowa on Monday.

 
Who's hot

Granlund has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Koivu has 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in his past nine games. 

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