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Preview: Blues at Capitals

St. Louis after fifth straight win; forward Lars Eller returns for Washington

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

BLUES (11-6-3) at CAPITALS (11-5-2)

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


Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues have won four consecutive games and play the second game of a back-to-back. Goalie Carter Hutton could start after Jake Allen made 39 saves in a 4-2 win at the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The Blues have started the same goalie in back-to-back games once in the three they have played this season when Allen started on Oct. 12-13. Allen is 9-3-3 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 16 games this season. Hutton is 2-3-0 with 2.77 GAA and .900 save percentage in six games.


Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals forward Lars Eller will return to the lineup after missing one game with an upper-body injury. "You lose that game feel kind of quick, but now it's only been days, so I'm not too worried about that," Eller said Wednesday. "You got a good practice in yesterday and a good morning skate today, so now I feel good." Goalie Braden Holtby is expected to start for the Capitals. Holtby is 9-4-1 with a 1.99 GAA and .927 save percentage in 14 games. 


Blues projected lineup

Robby Fabbri -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- David Perron

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Patrik Berglund -- Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Robert Bortuzzo -- Colton Parayko

Carter Hutton

Jake Allen

Scratched: Petteri Lindbohm, Ty Rattie  

Injured: Joel Edmundson (upper body), Alexander Steen (upper body)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Andre Burakovsky

Marcus Johansson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Justin Williams

Zach Sanford -- Jay Beagle -- Brett Connolly  

Daniel Winnik -- Lars Eller -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney

Injured: T.J. Oshie (upper body)


Status report

Oshie skated before the Capitals held an optional practice but is still considered week-to-week. Oshie was injured when he hit Detroit Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan on Nov. 18. 


Who's hot

Tarasenko has 11 points in his past nine games. … Perron has seven points in five games. … Backstrom has seven points in his past four games. 

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