Sunday, November 6, 2016

(11-6-16) Avalanche-Blues Gameday Lineup

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues will have a fluid lineup that takes the ice prior to their Sunday afternoon game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Coach Ken Hitchcock address the media before the 4 p.m. start (FS-MW, KMOX 1120-AM) and said the lineup will be known after the pregame warmup.

"We'll take 14 forwards into the warmup because of some injuries sustained yesterday," Hitchcock said of the 2-1 overtime victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets. "We won't know until we finish the warmup. All 14 will skate and then we'll decide. If the lineup is sustained from yesterday, then we'll stay the same. If not, then we'll make quite a few changes. Through warmup, you'll be able to see when we put them out there. So all 14 are there."

Jake Allen, who has allowed nine goals the past 46 shots over two games -- one in which he was pulled against the New York Rangers -- will start in goal. 

Carter Hutton got the start against Columbus on Saturday and stopped 20 of 21 shots.

"He's like the rest of our team," Hitchcock said of Allen. "We are going to need really good play from him. It's one notch at a time. He went from being the first star of the game to not playing as well as we were. We left the game against LA and it's not a fair assessment of Jake, but we left the game against LA, played a great hockey game and a very, tough, physical game and then in both games on the road, we were leveling it off and we decided we were going to open it up and that's what I was saying to you before, all of the sudden, it's the response after usually success."

The Blues haven't scored more than two goals the past six games and eight of nine. The last time they did so was Oct. 22 against the Calgary Flames (a 6-4 victory). 

"When you're not scoring, it's frustrating because it's a lot of hard work," said Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who scored the tying goal in the third period Saturday. "The theme is if we keep sticking with it, it'll happen." 

The Blues stuck to their guns and limited scoring opportunities and allowed their defense to feed their offense but were outshot 10-5 in the third.

"I was really happy with the way we played the first two (periods)," Hitchcock said. "We never started with the puck in the third. We ended up chasing a lot in the third because we lost too many faceoffs. Between special teams and 5-on-5 play, we had to check a lot. We ended up checking them whereas they were checking us to start with. We didn't face a good night in the faceoff dot in the third period, which has got to change for us."

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Hitchcock said that defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) will skate with the training staff Monday, a scheduled day off for the team, and be reevaluated after that.

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St. Louis will play the second of a three-game homestand. The Blues are 4-1-1 on home ice this season. 

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The Blues' projected lineup (if it remains the same):

Alexander Steen-Patrik Berglund-David Perron

Jaden Schwartz-Jori Lehtera-Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri-Paul Stastny-Dmitrij Jaskin

Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson-Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko

Jake Allen will start in goal; Carter Hutton will be the backup.

Healthy scratches could Nail Yakupov and Ty Rattie. Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) is still on injured-reserve.

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The Avalanche's projected lineup:

Mikko Rantanen-Nathan MacKinnon-Matt Duchene

Gabriel Landeskog-Carl Soderberg-Jarome Iginla

Rene Bourque-Mikhail Grigorenko-Blake Comeau

Andreas Martinsen-John Mitchell-Joe Colborne

Nikita Zadorov-Erik Johnson

Francois Beauchemin-Tyson Barrie

Patrick Wiercioch-Fedor Tyutin

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal; Calvin Pickard, coming off a 32-save shutout Saturday against the Minnesota Wild, will be the backup. 

Healthy scratches include Eric Gelinas and Cody McLeod. The Avalanche report no injuries.

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