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Preview: Blues at Jets

Marko Dano, Jacob Trouba return for Winnipeg; St. Louis tries to end four-game losing streak

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (31-26-5) at JETS (28-30-6)

8 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues enter play Friday one point behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference and are looking to avoid a fifth straight loss. With the Winnipeg Jets trailing the Blues by five points, coach Mike Yeo expects to play against a desperate team. "We got to rise to the moment," Yeo said. "I'm not inside their locker room, so I don't know what they're saying in there, but my hunch is they're saying, 'This is our season right now.' So to be excited about the intensity and the emotion in the hockey that's in the hockey game. We have to have some awareness of their situation but more importantly has to be on our own." The Blues are 7-5-0 since Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock, who was fired on Feb. 1. Forward Patrik Berglund said every game for the remainder of the season is a must-win. "It's been a rollercoaster ride but we have a good group of guys and we're feeling pretty good here," Berglund said. "I think the four games we've been losing as of late, we've been doing a lot of good stuff as well. We just got to find those 60 minutes." Forward Zach Sanford, who was acquired in a trade that sent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals on Monday, will play on the third line in his St. Louis debut.

 

Jets team scope

Forwards Marko Dano, who missed 26 games with a lower-body injury, and Andrew Copp, who missed six with an upper-body injury, will play. The Jets will also have defenseman Jacob Trouba, who missed two games because of a suspension for an illegal check to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone on Feb. 19. "We know what is in front of us," Trouba said. "If we want to make our push to the playoffs, it starts here tonight and we need this game." Connor Hellebuyck gets his ninth straight start in goal for the Jets. He allowed five goals on 21 shots and was pulled in a 6-5 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. "He's got to get right back on the horse," coach Paul Maurice said. "He was such a critical, critical piece to us playing so very well off the road trip. I put his game against Minnesota in the exact same pocket as I put the rest of the team."

 

Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Paul Stastny -- David Perron

Jaden Schwartz -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Zach Sanford -- Patrik Berglund -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Ivan Barbashev -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Colton Parayko

Carter Hutton

Jake Allen

Scratched: Nail Yakupov, Dmitrij Jaskin, Kyle Brodziak

Injured: Robby Fabbri (knee)

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault -- Mark Scheifele -- Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Marko Dano -- Andrew Copp -- Chris Thorburn

Toby Enstrom -- Dustin Byfuglien

Josh Morrissey - Jacob Trouba

Ben Chiarot -- Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Mark Stuart, Nic Petan

Injured: Tyler Myers (lower body), Ondrej Pavelec (lower body)

 

Status report

Reaves will play in his 400th NHL game. ... Pavelec practiced with the Jets on Thursday but didn't get show enough in an off-ice workout to play or back up on Friday.

 

Who's hot

Hutton has three shutouts in past four starts. ... Pietrangelo has a goal and an assist in his past two games. … Laine has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) during a six-game point streak. … Scheifele has seven points (one goal, six assists) during a three-game point streak, and has 12 points (one goal, 11 assists in his past six game. … Perreault has nine points (three goals, six assists) during a five-game point streak.

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