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Preview: Blues at Rangers

Chris Kreider returns for New York; St. Louis' Jay Bouwmeester to play 1,000th NHL game

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

BLUES (5-2-2) at RANGERS (6-3-0)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-MW, NHL.TV


Blues team scope

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will be play his 1,000th NHL regular-season game. He has 377 points (81 goals, 296 assists) in 999 games. His career includes a streak of 749 consecutive games, the fifth-longest in League history. "Consistency," said captain Alex Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester's defense partner. "That's 1,000 games of the same level of hockey, night in and night out. Awfully impressive." The Blues are coming off a 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, but they have three goals in their past three games and have been limited to one goal in five of their past six; the lone exception is a 6-4 win at the Calgary Flames on Oct. 22. "I think in Calgary we were able to kind of just expose them a little bit more, but right now we're kind of 50/50 on doing the hard things to score goals," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "Our forwards are doing a great job of working and getting pucks in the offensive zone. They're getting them to the point. We're not doing a great job of getting our shots through initially, and then when they do get through we don't have a lot of net presence. It's a tale as old as time, you've got to get bodies there and you've got to screen guys like [Rangers goaltender Henrik] Lundqvist, otherwise they're going to have a field day."


Rangers team scope

The New York Rangers, who are 5-1-0 at Madison Square Garden, will have their full lineup for the first time this season with the return of left wing Chris Kreider. He's back after missing the past four games because of neck spasms. The Rangers previously had injuries to defensemen Kevin Klein and Dan Girardi and forward Pavel Buchnevich, who will skate on the fourth line against the Blues. "Obviously you're very excited, you want to see all the combinations and stuff that were in place throughout camp," captain Ryan McDonagh said. "I think it's a good sign that with all the ins and outs of the lineup that we've had guys who were able to contribute. Certainly we're excited to have Kreider back. He's a big part of our lineup." Kreider will skate on a line with center Mika Zibanejad and right wing Mats Zuccarello. He replaces Oscar Lindberg, who will be a healthy scratch. Kreider had seven points in five games before the neck spasms forced him out of the lineup. "Obviously you want to get back as soon as possible to play and help the team, do what you can to help them win," Kreider said. "[I feel] good, healthy, excited. Just looking forward to trying to contribute any way I can."


Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Paul Stastny -- David Perron

Jaden Schwartz -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri -- Patrik Berglund -- Nail Yakupov

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Scottie Upshall, Ty Rattie

Injured: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body)


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- J.T. Miller

Pavel Buchnevich -- Brandon Pirri -- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Klein

Antti Raanta

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Adam Clendening, Oscar Lindberg

Injured: Josh Jooris (shoulder)


Status report

Allen will start for the Blues. He was the backup to Hutton in a 3-2 home win against the Rangers on Oct. 15. Allen has allowed one goal on 54 shots in the past two games. He is 0-1-0 with a 4.07 goals-against avearage and .821 save percentage in two career games against the Rangers. ... Lundqvist will start after backing up Raanta in the Rangers' 6-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. Lundqvist allowed three goals on 18 shots in the loss to the Blues at Scottrade Center on Oct. 15 and is 3-5-0 with a 2.55 GAA and .912 save percentage in nine career games against the Blues.


Who's hot

Allen has won his past two games. ... McDonagh has assists in seven consecutive games and is second in the NHL with eight assists. .. Grabner had a hat trick in the win against the Lightning. His line, including Miller and Hayes, combined for four goals and five assists. ... Miller has six points in the past four games.

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