Monday, March 9, 2020

(3-9-20) Panthers-Blues Gameday Lineup

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues did not hold a morning skate on Monday following a 2-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at United Center.

St. Louis (41-18-10), two points better than the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Western Conference and Central Division, will look to once again gain ground on the Avalanche, who have a game in hand and who will also play tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. The Blues host the Florida Panthers (34-26-8) at 7 p.m. (FS-MW, ESPN 101.1-FM).

What these last 13 games will do for the Blues is keep them motivated, keep them hungry and keep fighting for home ice advantage, at least in the Western Conference.

"It will for sure," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We understand where everybody's at in the standings and what's going on. You've got to just keep playing, you've got to keep winning. All these games are important, games are all tough games. We've got Florida tomorrow. It's a big game for Florida. We're going to get a good game out of them. They're rested, waiting there. Every game's tough."

"Yeah, everyone's coming," said Blues goalie Jake Allen, who got his second shutout of the season Sunday (both at Chicago) and moved past Jaroslav Halak for second in franchise history with his 21st shutout. "We felt that way since Jan. 1 really, especially when we had that slip there and teams caught us really close. We realized that we've got to keep our foot on the gas all the way. Colorado's got a helluva team. They're coming for us. We know how important home ice is and the momentum you carry with that. Hopefully we can just play our game and it'll all work out."

Tonight's game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was moved up a day to accommodate the Blues' makeup game at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, a game originally suspended with 7:50 remaining in the first period on Feb. 11 when defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed and experienced a cardiac episode on the Blues' bench.

So instead of a three-game homestand starting tonight and games on Friday against San Jose Friday and Ottawa on Sunday, the Blues play Tuesday's game tonight, fly to Anaheim Tuesday for a Wednesday game, fly home Thursday to play Friday.

It's a big reason why both Allen and Jordan Binnington, who will get the start tonight, need to stay fresh and ready.

"Yeah, it's just managing your body," Allen said. "It's everyone in this locker room. There's not going to be many practices, with few and far between. We might have two or three, before the end of the season, and I think days off are going to be crucial. Just timing and understanding what we need and what we don't need."

The Blues are 9-1-0 the past 10 games but are still finding life tough trying to separate themselves from the Avalanche, who won 4-3 at San Jose Sunday.

"We're not going to sit here and say we don't look at the standings, but at the end of the day, it's just going into games, taking pride in what we do and the results will follow," said Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who got the scoring started Sunday with a goal in the second period. "We just want to be playing the right type fo hockey going into this last stretch here."

- - -

With the Blues not holding a morning skate, other than Binnington, no other potential lineup changes will be known until Berube speaks at 5:30 p.m.

The coach said Sunday prior to the win at Chicago that defenseman Justin Faulk, who's missed two games with an upper-body injury, could play tonight but wasn't certain of it as of Sunday.

- - -

Blues center Oskar Sundqvist was fined $5,000 by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for roughing on Chicago defenseman Adam Boqvist Sunday.

It occured with 5:01 remaining in the second period when Sundqvist went in for a reverse check on Boqvist, missed initially and with his back turned, a follow through caught Boqvist up high.

Originally, an elbowing major was assessed but after a review was conducted, it was reduced to two minutes for elbowing and two minutes for roughing.

The video shows Sundqvist's end of his stick may have caught Boqvist in the facial area. As of Monday, Boqvist is under concussion protocol.

The money, which is the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

- - -

With an assist Sunday, Blues center Brayden Schenn has nine points (five goals, four assists) during a seven-game point streak.

With two assists Sunday, Blues forward Jaden Schwartz has five points (two goals, three assists) in a three-game point streak.

Binnington is 6-1-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and two shutouts his past seven starts.

- - -

The Blues' projected lineup:

Jaden Schwartz-Brayden Schenn-Sammy Blais

Zach Sanford-Ryan O'Reilly-David Perron

Alexander Steen-Robert Thomas-Tyler Bozak 

Mackenzie MacEachern-Oskar Sundqvist-Ivan Barbashev

Carl Gunnarsson-Alex Pietrangelo

Marco Scandella-Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn-Justin Faulk

Jordan Binnington will start in goal; Jake Allen will be the backup.

Healthy scratches include Robert BortuzzoJordan Kyrou, Jacob de la Rose and Troy Brouwer. Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), and Jay Bouwmeester (cardiac episode) are out. 

- - -

The Panthers' projected lineup:

Jonathan Huberdeau-Aleksander Barkov-Frank Vatrano 

Mike Hoffman-Erik Haula-Evgenii Dadonov

Dominic Toninato-Lucas Wallmark-Brett Connolly

Aleksi Saarela-Noel Acciari-Colton Sceviour 

MacKenzie Weegar-Aaron Ekblad

Anton Stralman-Mike Matheson

Keith Yandle-Mark Pysyk 

Chris Driedger will start in goal; Sam Montembeault will be the backup.

The healthy scratch is Josh Brown. Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body), Brian Boyle (upper body), Dryden Hunt (lower body) and Riley Stillman (upper body) are out.

No comments:

Post a Comment