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Blues at Canadiens preview

St. Louis eyes fourth consecutive victory; Montreal tries to avoid third loss in row

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

BLUES (3-0-1) at CANADIENS (1-1-2)



The Game

The St. Louis Blues look for their fourth straight victory when they visit the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

St. Louis can become the first defending Stanley Cup champion to open the following season with a five-game point streak since the Detroit Red Wings began the 1997-98 season with five wins and a tie.

Montreal will try to avoid a third consecutive defeat (0-1-1). The Canadiens' 4-2 loss to the Red Wings in their home opener Thursday was their first in regulation.


Players to watch

Blues center Ryan O'Reilly had four points (one goal, three assists) in a 6-4 win at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and leads the team with seven points (one goal, six assists) in four games this season. 

Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin has four points (one goal, three assists) in a four-game point streak to start the season.


They said it

"They've got some fast forwards that have a lot of skill so we've got to do a good job of checking and keeping them in front of us. They have the ability to get behind you with their speed." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

"They're a big team, heavy, playing well. They're playing with a lot of confidence after last year so we just have to skate. I think we're a faster team than they are so we just have to outskate them." -- Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Sammy Blais -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Robby Fabbri -- Tyler Bozak -- Zach Sanford

Ivan Barbashev -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Alexander Steen

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Justin Faulk

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Mackenzie MacEachern, Robert Bortuzzo

Injured: Robert Thomas (upper body)


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Max Domi -- Jordan Weal

Jonathan Drouin -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Joel Armia

Paul Byron -- Nate Thompson -- Nick Suzuki

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Ben Chiarot -- Christian Folin

Carey Price

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Mike Reilly, Cale Fleury

Injured: Nick Cousins (back)


Status report

Blais practiced on the power play and will be utilized there, Berube said. … Gunnarsson will partner with Pietrangelo after being left out of the lineup Thursday. … Faulk takes Bortuzzo's place beside Dunn. … Kulak returns after being a healthy scratch for the past two games. He will be paired for the first time with Petry, who was his regular partner last season. … Weal switches lines with Suzuki.


Stat pack

Perron has five points (three goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak to start the season. … Price needs two wins to tie Sean Burke (324) for 27th place on the NHL all-time list. … Armia has four points (three goals, one assist) in the past two games.

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