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Preview: Blues at Penguins

Defenseman Brian Dumoulin may return for Pittsburgh; St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester back in lineup

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

BLUES (23-19-5) at PENGUINS (30-11-5)



Blues team scope

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will play Tuesday after missing one game with a lower-body injury. He participated in the Blues optional morning skate after taking a maintenance day during their Monday practice. "I feel better now," Bouwmeester said. "I felt good this morning, so I'll try it again tonight." Forward Jaden Schwartz will be moved off St. Louis' top line to spread the offensive production, said coach Ken Hitchcock, who has not finalized the Blues' lines. "I don't think we can keep [Schwartz, center Paul Stastny and right wing Alexander Steen] together," Hitchcock said. "We need help in other areas. … They've been terrific, but we need some help in other places." Schwartz has provided a boost with five points (one goal, four assists) in his past two games. Stastny, who has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past nine games, is two goals away from 200 in his NHL career. Goaltender Carter Hutton is expected to start after allowing three goals on eight shots in a 7-3 loss against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. Goaltender Pheonix Copley allowed five goals on 29 shots in a 5-3 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Goaltender Jake Allen is expected to start against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. St. Louis has lost three straight and is 2-5-0 in its past seven games.


Penguins team scope

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin could return Tuesday after missing 10 games with a broken jaw sustained Dec. 27. He wore a modified shield during the Penguins morning skate Tuesday. Dumoulin would be available against the Blues, coach Mike Sullivan said. "I want to obviously play and help this team," said Dumoulin, who has seven assists in 35 games this season. "They seem to be on a pretty good run right now. Anything I can do would be the best for me." Pittsburgh will attempt to extend its winning streak to five games. During the streak, the Penguins have scored at least four goals in each of their four wins and at least five in three of the four. Pittsburgh is 9-3-0 in its past 12 games and 17-4-2 in its past 23. Goaltender Matt Murray is expected to start for the fifth consecutive game. He has allowed one goal in each of his past three starts since giving up seven in an 8-7 overtime win against the Capitals on Jan. 16. Murray is 17-4-1 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .923 save percentage this season after making 44 saves in a 5-1 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday. The Penguins will play their fourth of five January home games; they are 20-2-2 at PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh, which leads the NHL with 3.63 goals per game, has not lost in regulation at home since Nov. 21, when they were defeated 5-2 by the New York Rangers.


Blues projected lineup

Robby Fabbri -- Paul Stastny -- Alexander Steen

Jaden Schwartz -- Patrik Berglund -- Vladimir Tarasenko

David Perron -- Jori Lehtera -- Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Robert Bortuzzo -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carter Hutton

Pheonix Copley

Scratched: Jake Allen, Dmitrij Jaskin, Carl Gunnarsson

Injured: none


Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Chris Kunitz -- Eric Fehr -- Scott Wilson

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Brian Dumoulin -- Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Tom Kuhnhackl, Steve Oleksy, Cameron Gaunce

Injured: Kris Letang (lower body), Matt Cullen (foot)


Status report

Letang, who has missed four games since sustaining a lower-body injury Jan. 14, participated in Pittsburgh's morning skate with a regular contact jersey. He said he does not know when he'll be prepared to return. … St. Louis recalled Copley from Chicago of the American Hockey League on Friday. He should back up Hutton on Tuesday. … Yakupov could reenter the Blues lineup after last playing Jan. 17.


Who's hot

Shattenkirk has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games. He is second on the Blues with 32 points. … Sheary is tied for the NHL lead with eight goals in January. He has nine points (six goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak. … Malkin has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in a seven-game point streak, and is three assists from 500 in his NHL career. … Crosby has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past five games.

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