Wednesday, September 21, 2011

(9-21-11) Blues-Lightning Gameday Lineup

ST. LOUIS -- After Brian Elliott's performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday night in a 3-1 victory, the ball is now in Ben Bishop's court.

Bishop gets the start tonight when the Blues and Lightning go at it again in Orlando, Fla. Gametime is 6 p.m.

Bishop and Elliott are in a battle for the backup job behind Jaroslav Halak and a lot will be based on how well they perform here in exhibition games.

Bishop, who was 3-4-0 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .899 save percentage, will see a much more polished Lightning lineup, which was minus Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and former Blue Eric Brewer Tuesday night.

"I think they're going to have pretty much their full lineup in so it's a good opportunity for me," Bishop said. "It's going to be a good test for us. It'll be fun to get back at it. ... You're not really worried about who's on the other side. It'll be fun to get back in there and get your feet wet again."

Blues coach Davis Payne says Bishop's camp has been solid.

"He's been very good," Payne said. "Through practices, you can see both guys (Bishop and Elliott) battling like heck. They're on every puck and trying to make every save. Now they get a chance to focus in on their game preparation knowing they're going start to finish. There's only one puck out there they've got to worry about.

"We expect to see more of their big guns. Some of the opportunities we gave them on the power play (Tampa was 1-for-8) can get a little dangerous but a good opportunity to show for him that in that role, you'll get some nights you've got to go into tough buildings against teams that are ready for you and perform well."

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Forwards Evgeny Grachev and B.J. Crombeen will both be in the lineup tonight after playing Tuesday night.

Grachev scored twice in the victory and Payne wants to give him more looks as camp moves forward and planned to have the big Russian go back-to-back regardless of what transpired Tuesday.

"I thought he was very good," Payne said of Grachev. "His skill and his size is something that was well-built. I think that his effectiveness with his structure on the forecheck especially ... he had a real good stick last night, disrupted some plays. That's a way for a big guy to make himself that much more effective. There's times when he got himself into the right spots and made our structure real effective by the way he played it."

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Tonight's lineup against the Lightning includes:

Brett Sterling-Patrik Berglund-Chris Stewart

Stefan Della Rovere-Vladimir Sobotka-B.J. Crombeen

Evgeny Grachev-T.J. Hensick-Ty Rattie

Yannick Veilleux-Adam Cracknell-Ryan Reaves

Kent Huskins-Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman-Ian Cole

Nikita Nikitin-Cade Fairchild

Ben Bishop gets the start in goal and is expected to play the entire game; Jordan Binnington is the backup.

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The Lightning's lineup, according to the Tampa Tribune, includes:

Brett Connolly-Vincent Lecavalier-Teddy Purcell

Cory Conacher-Steven Stamkos-Marty St. Louis

Tom Pyatt-Vladislav Namestnikov-Blair Jones

Richard Panik-Tyler Johnson-Michel Ouellet

Eric Brewer-Mattias Ohlund

Matt Gilroy-Marc-Andre Bergeron

Bruno Gervais-Mike Vernace

Dwayne Roloson will start in goal; Jaroslav Janus, who backed up Mathieu Garon Tuesday, will also be the backup tonight.

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