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Preview: Canucks at Blues

St. Louis aims for sixth straight win; Vancouver forwards Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter each game-time decision

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (25-26-6) at BLUES (30-22-5)

8 p.m. ET; SN1, SN360, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Canucks team scope

The Vancouver Canucks, who finish a six-game road trip Thursday, hope to have forwards Bo Horvat (knee) and Brandon Sutter (wrist) in the lineup. Horvat and Sutter each missed the Canucks' 4-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday after being injured in a 4-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres last Saturday. Each took part in the morning skate Thursday and each will be a game-time decision, coach Willie Desjardins said. "I'm not 100 percent sure what's going to happen, but I'll talk it over with the training staff and see what they think," Horvat said. "I felt pretty good out there, so hopefully I'll be good to go tonight." Sutter sounded more optimistic. "I'm hopeful I'll play," Sutter said. "I felt a lot better today. We'll see how it is tonight, but I'm more optimistic than I was at this time two days ago." Vancouver is five points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with one game in hand. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom will start.

 

Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues go for their sixth straight victory to extend their season-high winning streak after sweeping a five-game road trip for the first time in their history. The Blues, who defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 on Wednesday, did not skate Thursday. Coach Mike Yeo is 6-1-0 since replacing Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 1, which is tied with Leo Boivin (1976) for the best start in Blues history. "We've got a tough game," Yeo said of the Canucks after the win Wednesday. "They're sitting there waiting for us. They're back in St. Louis right now. They're playing for their lives right now, so that will be a tough game [Thursday], but for us, we'll do what we've been doing, and that's we learn from this game, what we did well, what we need to do better and take it into [Thursday]." Goaltender Jake Allen will start; he was named the NHL Second Star of the Week on Monday after going 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .967 save percentage. The Blues lead the Nashville Predators, who are on their five-day break, by three points for third place in the Central Division.

 
Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Markus Granlund

Loui Eriksson -- Brandon Sutter -- Jayson Megna

Alexandre Burrows -- Bo Horvat -- Jannik Hansen

Reid Boucher -- Michael Chaput -- Jack Skille

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Alex Biega, Philip Larsen, Brendan Gaunce

Injured: Sven Baertschi (concussion), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Anton Rodin (knee), Derek Dorsett (neck)

 

Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Kenny Agostino -- Ivan Barbashev -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Wade Megan -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Nail Yakupov, Dmitrij Jaskin

Injured: Paul Stastny (lower body), Robby Fabbri (knee), Kyle Brodziak (foot)

 

Status report

If Sutter and Horvat are unable to go, Biega and Gaunce are expected to play; both played in the loss at Pittsburgh. ... If the Blues make a lineup change, it likely will be Bortuzzo in for Gunnarsson. They have alternated the past four games and Gunnarsson played Wednesday. ... Stastny was eligible to come off injured reserve Thursday but will miss at least two games, Yeo said.

 

Who's hot

Horvat has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games. ... Berglund has five goals in his past 4 games. ... Perron has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past five games. 

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