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Blues at Canucks preview

Vancouver goaltender Nilsson goes for fourth straight win; Schenn off to best start of NHL career for St. Louis

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

BLUES (14-5-1) at CANUCKS (9-8-2)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, FS-MW, NHL.TV


The Game

Goaltender Anders Nilsson will start for the Vancouver Canucks against the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

Nilsson is 4-1-0 with a .942 save percentage and has won his past three starts. He missed three games Nov. 6-9 for the birth of his child and has played once in Vancouver's past nine games. He made 30 saves in a 3-2 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

St. Louis called up center Wade Megan from the American Hockey League after Oskar Sundqvist blocked a couple of hard shots during a 4-1 win at the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday; however, Sundqvist skated Saturday morning and expects to play. The Blues have lost two of their past three games after starting the season 13-3-1.


Players to watch

St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn has four goals and 10 assists during a six-game point streak and is tied with linemate Jaden Schwartz for the scoring lead on the Blues with 25 points.

Canucks rookie right wing Brock Boeser has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past seven games and leads Vancouver with 16 points.

They said it

"The puck hit the wrong spot and it hurt, but I am all good now. Yesterday I had some doubts [whether I could play] but not today, especially after this morning skate." -- Sundqvist, who was questionable to play after blocking two shots Thursday.

"Maybe you know them a little bit but then the game happens so fast, so it's all about reading the play. You can't cheat but you need to be aware who is shooting and know their tendencies a little bit." -- Nilsson on knowing Blues shooters after spending the final two months of the 2015-16 season with St. Louis.


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Vladimir Sobotka -- Paul Stastny -- Alexander Steen

Magnus Paajarvi -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Chris Thorburn

Joel Edmundson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nate Prosser, Wade Megan

Injured: Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Jay Bouwmeester (ankle)


Canucks projected lineup

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Jake Virtanen

Thomas Vanek -- Sam Gagner -- Loui Eriksson

Markus Granlund -- Brandon Sutter -- Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler -- Derrick Pouliot

Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson

Michael Del Zotto -- Alex Biega

Anders Nilsson

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Patrick Wiercioch, Alexander Burmistrov, Brendan Gaunce

Injured: Christopher Tanev (hand), Troy Stecher (knee).


Status report

Bouwmeester and Berglund have practiced during the Blues' three-game Western Canada trip and will be re-evaluated when they get back to St. Louis. … Tanev and Stecher skated Saturday and will join the Canucks for a six-game road trip that starts Tuesday. Virtanen returns to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for three games.


Stat pack

St. Louis leads the NHL with 19 goals from its defensemen. … Vancouver has three goals from its defensemen; two were scored by Tanev, who hasn't played since Nov. 7.

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