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Blues at Sharks preview

St. Louis, San Jose meet for first time since Western Conference Final

by Ross McKeon / Independent Correspondent

BLUES (22-8-6) at SHARKS (16-18-2)

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-MW, NHL.TV


The Game

The St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks will face each other for the first time since the Western Conference Final when they meet at SAP Center on Saturday.

The Central Division-leading Blues advanced past the Sharks in six games before winning their first Stanley Cup in seven games against the Boston Bruins.

St. Louis seeks its fifth straight victory following a three-game losing streak. Goalie Jake Allen will make his second straight start after making 35 saves in a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

Forwards Stefan Noesen and Joel Kellman will each play his first game for the Sharks, who are 1-6-1 in their past eight games after going 11-2-0 in their previous 13.

San Jose claimed Noesen off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and Kellman will make his NHL debut after he was called up from San Jose of the American Hockey League, also on Thursday.


Players to watch

Blues center Ryan O'Reilly has five assists in a four-game point streak.

Sharks forward Tomas Hertl has five points (four goals, one assist) in a four-game point streak, and has scored at least one goal in three straight.


They said it 

"They've got a lot of good players over there, they're a good team. They're just trying to find their way right now. It's a tough game, it's a tough building. Going back to the playoffs last year, we've got to be ready to go. We've got to take this game as serious as we've taken any game this year." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

"We're in the thick of things right now, and we're just trying to get wins. … We've been killing ourselves with big mistakes, which has been the case for most of the year. We've got to get away from that." -- Sharks center Logan Couture


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Jordan Kyrou

Oskar Sundqvist -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Robert Thomas -- Tyler Bozak

MacKenzie MacEachern -- Jacob de la Rose -- Ivan Barbashev

Justin Faulk -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Jordan Binnington

Scratched: Niko Mikkola, Troy Brouwer, Zach Sanford

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), Sammy Blais (wrist), Erik Foley (concussion), Carl Gunnarsson (upper body) 


Sharks projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Logan Couture -- Patrick Marleau

Tomas Hertl -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Marcus Sorensen -- Barclay Goodrow -- Timo Meier  

Melker Karlsson -- Joel Kellman -- Stefan Noesen

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns

Jacob Middleton -- Tim Heed

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Noah Gregor, Antti Suomela

Injured: Dalton Prout (upper body), Radim Simek (knee), Mario Ferraro (upper body)


Status report

Bozak returns after missing one game because of illness. … Barbashev will play after missing two with an upper-body injury. … Ferraro participated in the morning skate but will not play. … Simek skated on his own but will not play this weekend.


Stat pack

Schenn is one point shy of 400 in the NHL. … Couture will play his 700th game in the League. … Thornton needs two assists to tie Adam Oates (1,079) for seventh place on the NHL all-time list.

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