Saturday, February 6, 2016

(2-6-16) Wild-Blues Gameday Lineup

ST. LOUIS -- Both the Blues and Minnesota Wild are eager and anxious to get their respective games back in the right direction when they oppose one another tonight.

For the Blues (29-17-8), it's working on producing more offense. Despite being 2-2-1, they've put five goals on the board in that time frame. 

"If we can apply pressure and get on the right side of things, I think that will hopefully discourage them," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said of the Wild, who will make forwards Thomas Vanek and Jason Zucker healthy scratches tonight. "Then we'll be able to take over the rest of the game.

"... We're trying to find ways to score. It might just take a couple ugly ones to go in for us. It might not be the pretty play. I think we have to remember that and stick with it. It might be just something silly as getting everyone to the net and bouncing off a goalie or off one of our guys and in. That's how these things start falling back into your favor. Hopefully that happens for us tonight."

Also, the Wild (23-19-9), who are 0-3-1 the past four games and 1-8-1 the past 10, will be a team that can be a wounded animal that can jump up and bite in desperation or one that can be had with some early success from lack of confidence with their recent play.

"I don't think we can fall into the trap thinking they're just going to roll over for us," Shattenkirk said of the Wild. "They seem to play a very patient and almost boring game against us but it works. It's worked recently against us. We just want to make sure they don't come in here feeling like we're a team they've had success against lately and they're going to get right back in the swing of things by getting a win against us tonight."

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Associate coach Brad Shaw took coach Ken Hitchcock's spot addressing the media Saturday morning but after addressing some questions, was cast aside for Hitchcock ... wait, no, it was right wing Ryan Reaves channeling his inner Hitchcock complete with wardrobe and baby powder to give him the shiny white hair.

For a team that keeps it loose, it certainly drew funny laughs from attending media and quite creative for Reaves, who is one of the top pranksters on the team.

It was quite unexpected but so very much like Reaves, who has had a penchant for using his locker room slipper as a recorder and jumping into player interviews. Also, he has some YouTube videos up playing pranks on -- or scaring -- teammates that are quite creative.

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Left wing Jaden Schwartz will not play but took part in the optional skate Saturday. The Blues don't play again until Tuesday when they host Winnipeg and could mark his return. Schwartz will miss his 48th consecutive game.

Left wing Magnus Paajarvi will skate in his 100th game with the Blues tonight.

The Blues' power play, 0-for-23 the past eight-plus games dating to Jan. 12, will look to get off the schneid tonight. The Blues have converted five times the past 13 opportunities against the Wild the past five games.

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The Blues' projected lineup:

Patrik Berglund-Paul Stastny-Vladimir Tarasenko

Scottie Upshall-Alexander Steen-David Backes

Robby Fabbri-Jori Lehtera-Troy Brouwer

Magnus Paajarvi-Kyle Brodziak-Dmitrij Jaskin

Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson-Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson-Colton Parayko

Brian Elliott will start in goal. Pheonix Copley will be the backup.

Ryan Reaves and Robert Bortuzzo are healthy scratches. Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Jake Allen (lower body) and Steve Ott (hamstring) are on injured reserve.

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The Wild's projected lineup:

Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville

Ryan Carter-Tyler Graovac-Justin Fontaine

Chris Porter-Jarret Stoll-Erik Haula

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon  

Marco Scandella-Matt Dumba  

Christian Folin-Nate Prosser  

Devan Dubnyk will start in goal. Darcy Kuemper  will be the backup.

Jonas Brodin (foot) was placed on injured reserve Saturday and will miss 3-6 weeks with a broken foot. Niklas Backstrom, Thomas Vanek and Jason Zucker will be healthy scratches.

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