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Blues at Devils preview

St. Louis eyes season-long nine-game winning streak; New Jersey tries to end skid against Central Division foe

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

BLUES (40-17-10) AT DEVILS (26-28-12)



The Game

The St. Louis Blues can extend their winning streak to a season-long nine games when they visit the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Friday.

The Blues, who have outscored opponents 28-13 in eight consecutive victories, are in first place in the Central Division and Western Conference, two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche. 

A nine-game winning streak would be the longest for St. Louis since it won 11 straight from Jan. 23-Feb. 19, 2019.

The Blues can also defeat the Devils for the 13th time in a row; New Jersey has not defeated St. Louis since Jan. 21, 2014. It would be the Blues' longest winning streak against another team in their history.

Goalie Cory Schneider will start for the Devils, 8-4-2 in their past 14 games. Schneider is 2-0-1 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .957 save percentage in his past three starts.


Players to watch

Blues forward Brayden Schenn has scored a goal in five straight games, the longest active streak in the NHL.

Devils center Travis Zajac is one goal from tying Zach Parise (194) for fourth place on New Jersey's all-time list.


They said it

"During the winning streak, I think we've really tightened up defensively, tightened up our whole game with how we need to play and are finding ways to win games. We don't always score four goals a game; we're winning a lot of different ways." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

"We'll try [forward Miles Wood] on the top line. I don't want to touch [center Pavel] Zacha's line because they've been going well. [Wood] can bring more tenacity in the offensive zone, being harder on pucks and keeping pucks alive in the offensive zone." -- Devils coach Alain Nasreddine


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Brayden Schenn

Zach Sanford -- Robert Thomas -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Tyler Bozak -- Jordan Kyrou

Ivan Barbashev -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Sammy Blais

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Marco Scandella -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Justin Faulk

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Mackenzie MacEachern, Troy Brouwer, Jacob de la Rose

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), Jay Bouwmeester (cardiac episode)


Devils projected lineup

Miles Wood -- Nico Hischier -- Kyle Palmieri

Jack Hughes -- Travis Zajac -- Joey Anderson

Jesper Bratt -- Pavel Zacha -- Nikita Gusev

Kevin Rooney -- Michael McLeod -- John Hayden

Mirco Mueller -- P.K. Subban

Dakota Mermis -- Damon Severson

Connor Carrick -- Fredrik Claesson

Cory Schneider

Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratched: None

Injured: Will Butcher (thumb surgery)


Status report

Kyrou returns to the lineup after missing two games with an illness. ... Butcher, a defenseman, will be out the rest of the season. ... New Jersey assigned defenseman Josh Jacobs and forward Jesper Boqvist to Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Friday.


Stat pack

Binnington is 6-0-0, with a 1.49 goals-against average, .934 save percentage and two shutouts in his past six starts. … Schwartz has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 10 games against New Jersey. … Gusev has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past seven games.

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