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Golden Knights at Blues preview

Vegas seeks sixth win in eight games; St. Louis aims to avoid fourth loss in row

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

GOLDEN KNIGHTS (16-12-5) at BLUES (18-8-6)



The Game

The St. Louis Blues will look to avoid their fourth consecutive loss when they host the Vegas Golden Knights at Enterprise Center on Thursday.

The Blues have not lost four straight in regulation since a five-game skid from Feb. 16-27, 2018; they were 0-2-2 in a four-game winless streak from Oct. 12-19.

Forward Oskar Sundqvist will return to the St. Louis lineup after missing six games because of a lower-body injury.

The Golden Knights, 5-1-1 in their past seven games, will try to win at St. Louis for the first time in four attempts.


Players to watch

Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past six games.

Blues center Ryan O'Reilly has six points (five goals, one assist) in five games against Vegas.


They said it

"It's always fun to play the champions. You've got to come in here and play real well. They're a good, good hockey team, so we've got to make sure we're doing the right things." -- Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant

"He's a good player obviously, a 200-foot player for us. He was scoring before he got hurt. He does a lot of good stuff for us, penalty kill. He just makes whatever line he goes on better. That's what he does." -- Blues coach Craig Berube on forward Oskar Sundqvist


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Chandler Stephenson -- Mark Stone

Valentin Zykov -- Paul Stastny -- Alex Tuch

William Carrier -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Nicolas Hague -- Shea Theodore

Deryk Engelland -- Nick Holden

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: Jon Merrill

Injured: Cody Glass (upper body), Cody Eakin (upper body)


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Jordan Kyrou

David Perron -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Tyler Bozak

Ivan Barbashev -- Robert Thomas -- Troy Brouwer

Mackenzie MacEachern -- Jacob de la Rose -- Oskar Sundqvist

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Justin Faulk

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Austin Poganski

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), Alexander Steen (ankle), Sammy Blais (wrist), Zach Sanford (upper body) 


Status report

Glass did not make the trip, Gallant said. … Merrill could replace a defenseman in the lineup, the coach added. … Steen and Sanford are not ready to return, but each took part in an optional morning skate. ... To make room for Sundqvist, the Blues assigned forward Nathan Walker to San Antonio of the American Hockey League.


Stat pack

Marchessault needs one goal for 100 in the NHL. ... Fleury will tie Sean Burke for 14th place on the NHL all-time list for games played by a goalie with 820. ... Faulk has one goal in his past 15 games, his only point in that stretch.

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