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game preview

Preview: Blues at Senators

Goaltender Andrew Hammond to start for Ottawa; St. Louis aims to solidify playoff position

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

BLUES (26-22-5) at SENATORS (27-17-6)

7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, FS-MW, NHL.TV


Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues are 2-1-0 since coach Mike Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 1 but are 3-6-0 in their past nine games. The Blues hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference; they and the Calgary Flames each have 57 points, but the Blues have two games in hand. They trail the Nashville Predators by one point for third place in the Central Division. They are playing the second game of a five-game road trip, which began with a 2-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. Goaltender Carter Hutton made 26 saves for his third shutout of the season. Forward Kenny Agostino, called up from Chicago of the American Hockey League on Sunday, scored in his Blues debut. The Blues power play, ranked sixth in the NHL (21.9 percent), is 1-for-9 in its past five games. The Blues have killed 12 consecutive penalties in their past three games.


Senators team scope

Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond will start his first game since Dec. 18. Mike Condon set a Senators record with 27 consecutive games, including 18 straight starts. Hammond was injured in each of his past two starts. He sustained a groin injury Oct. 28 against the Calgary Flames and missed 21 games, then had a high ankle sprain against the New York Islanders on Dec. 18 and missed 15 games. Hammond made one save in 9:09 in relief in a 4-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. "It's very simple. [Hammond is] ready to go," coach Guy Boucher said. "Plain and simple. If he was ready before we would have given him a game somewhere in there." Said Hammond, "With everything that's gone on and injuries, it's not unfolded the way you hoped. In some ways it almost feels like it's the start all over again and this is your first chance. I'm pretty excited to get back in there." The Senators are 2-2-2 following a three-game winning streak. They lead the Toronto Maple Leafs by two points for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko 

Kenny Agostino -- Jori Lehtera -- David Perron 

Jaden Schwartz -- Patrik Berglund -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Ivan Barbashev -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Robert Bortuzzo -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko  

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Carl Gunnarsson , Dmitrij Jaskin , Nail Yakupov

Injured: Kyle Brodziak (foot), Robby Fabbri (knee)


Senators projected lineup 

Zack Smith -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Tommy Wingels -- Chris Kelly -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson 

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci 

Mark Borowiecki -- Chris Wideman

Andrew Hammond

Mike Condon

Scratched: Curtis Lazar, Fredrik Claesson, Craig Anderson

Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion) 


Status report

After being a healthy scratch the past two games, Neil will replace Lazar. 


Who's hot

Steen has five goals and five assists in his past nine games. Stastny has five goals and four assists in his past nine games. Pietrangelo has one goal and four assists in his past four games. Parayko has one goal and three assists in his past three games. … Hoffman has eight goals and four assists in his past 11 games. Karlsson has one goal and four assists in his past three games.

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