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Preview: Blues at Canadiens

Center Paul Stastny out for St. Louis; captain Max Pacioretty game-time decision for Montreal with flu

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (28-22-5) at CANADIENS (31-17-8)

7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CITY, TVA Sports, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Blues team scope

Center Paul Stastny will not play because of a lower-body injury he sustained in a 2-1 overtime win at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. Alexander Steen will move to center on the St. Louis Blues' top line with right wing Vladimir Tarasenko and left wing Magnus Paajarvi. "[Steen] has got lots of experience doing that and part of it is we wanted to try to keep things as close to what we've had lately as possible," coach Mike Yeo said. " ... I think that [Paajarvi] moving onto that side gives them some speed, gives them a worker, and those guys will have a good challenge. They're going to have some tough matchups, you know, especially on the back end I think tonight." The Blues have won the first three games of their five-game road trip, though forward David Perron expects the Montreal Canadiens will offer a tough test to extend their winning streak. "It's a great team over there and we all know they've been struggling a little bit maybe more recently but they're due for a big night one of these days," Perron said. "And we're hoping, first, it's not at against us, but also the way we play to put them on their heels a little bit. And I know they were on the road a little bit so they're going to be excited to come back to their rink and play and we have to have a strong start."

 

Canadiens team scope

Goalie Al Montoya will make his third home start in the first of back-to-back games for the Canadiens this weekend. Coach Michel Therrien said after the morning skate in Brossard, Quebec, that he wants to use No. 1 goalie Carey Price at the Boston Bruins on Sunday because it is a game against an Atlantic Division opponent. "I think we have been consistent for a number of years that when we have home and away games we want the goalies to share them," Therrien said. "And Montoya had an excellent game at Bell Centre last weekend so that's the situation that led to our decision." Montoya had his second shutout in a 1-0 shootout loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, and has yet to allow a goal in three games at home, a span on 158:16. He made 36 saves in a 4-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Montreal's home opener on Oct. 18, and saved the five shots he faced after replacing Price in a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 16. Captain Max Pacioretty missed the morning skate because of the flu and will be a game-time decision. Center Tomas Plekanec will play his 900th NHL regular-season game.

 

Blues projected lineup

Magnus Paajarvi -- Alexander Steen -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Patrik Berglund -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Kenny Agostino -- Jori Lehtera -- David Perron

Scottie Upshall -- Ivan Barbashev -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Robert Bertuzzo -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundston -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Carl Gunnarsson, Nail Yakupov

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

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Alexander Radulov

Artturi Lehkonen -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Paul Byron

Sven Andrighetto -- Tomas Plekanec -- Andrew Shaw

Daniel Carr -- Michael McCarron -- Torrey Mitchell

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Andrei Markov -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Greg Pateryn

Al Montoya

Carey Price

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, David Desharnais, Brian Flynn

Injured: Brendan Gallagher (hand)

 

Status report

A healthy scratch the past two games, Jaskin has played two of the past eight games, including the Blues' 2-0 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. "You look at [Berglund's] line, with [Jaskin] moving in there, that was the line that we had in Philly so it's pretty much the same lineup that we had in Philly is what you're going to see from lines three through four," Yeo said. ... Gallagher is close to returning. Therrien said he would not play Saturday but did not rule him out at Boston. Flynn took Pacioretty's place on line rushes at the morning skate.

 

Who's hot

Steen has three goals and three assists in his past six games. Berglund has three goals in the past four games. Shattenkirk has a three-game assist streak. Tarasenko has seven goals and an assist in his past eight games. … Pacioretty had two goals and two assists Thursday. He has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past six games. 

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