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Blues at Maple Leafs preview

St. Louis eyes seventh straight win against Toronto

by Dave McCarthy / Independent Correspondent

BLUES (1-0-1) at MAPLE LEAFS (2-0-1)



The Game

The St. Louis Blues will try to win their seventh consecutive game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when they play at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

Three of the Blues' six wins during their run have occurred in overtime, including a 3-2 victory in Toronto on Feb. 19. The Maple Leafs last defeated the Blues on Jan. 2, 2016, a 4-1 win on home ice.

Jason Spezza will make his home debut for the Maple Leafs. The veteran center was a healthy scratch in two of Toronto's first three games.


Players to watch

Blues forward Sammy Blais has three points (two goals, one assist) in his first two games. He scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has scored five goals in his first three games. He scored in each of his first six games to begin last season (14 points; 10 goals, four assists) and is the third player in Toronto history to have multiple season-opening goal streaks of at least three games (Corb Denneny, 1917-18 and 1921-22; Babe Dye 1921-22 and 1925-26).


They said it

"The Leafs, they're a talented hockey team, we all know that. They can really skate and score goals, so we've got a big challenge to play good defense against them but stay aggressive at the same time and stay out of the penalty box." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

"I think every game means the same but every year you play the defending Cup champions and it's always a fun game. You get up for it a bit because those are the guys who have their name on the Cup and that's what we're trying to do here and trying to accomplish." -- Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews


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)


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Kasperi Kapanen -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner

Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Ilya Mikheyev -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Trevor Moore

Nic Petan -- Jason Spezza -- Frederik Gauthier

Morgan Rielly -- Cody Ceci

Jake Muzzin -- Tyson Barrie

Rasmus Sandin -- Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Nicholas Shore, Dmytro Timashov , Martin Marincin

Injured: Zach Hyman (ACL), Travis Dermott (shoulder)


Status report

Thomas skated on his own after the Blues morning skate but will not play…Hyman and Dermott participated in the morning skate but are still expected to be out at least 2-3 more weeks… Petan and Holl will play after they were healthy scratches against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.


Stat pack

O'Reilly has three assists in his first two games. … The Maple Leafs have nine players with at least three points in their first three games.

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