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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:57 am 
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After a strong bounce-back game following two sub-par efforts, Jake Allen will be back in goal Wednesday night for the St. Louis Blues in a key Central Division game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Allen needed to play well in his last game on Sunday night against Colorado after allowing a combined nine goals in regulation losses last week on the road against the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars.

Given a little more breathing room when the offense snapped out of its scoring slump with five goals, Allen was back to his old form, allowing only one goal -- off a deflection through traffic -- in a 5-1 win over the Avalanche.

Allen stopped 22 shots and helped keep the Avalanche scoreless on six power-play opportunities, the kind of effort the Blues expected when they made their number one goalie this year with the offseason trade of Brian Elliott to Calgary and signed Allen to a four-year contract extension.

The win followed an overtime victory over Columbus on Saturday night behind backup goalie Carter Hutton and gave the Blues consecutive wins for the first time since they opened the season with a three-game winning streak.

"To string together two wins was important for us not just for the points but for the morale and momentum and confidence in this group," Allen said.

Now the Blues will be looking to build on that effort against the Blackhawks, who lead the Central Division with three more points than the Blues.

The Blues will make one lineup change, with Petteri Lindbohm, recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League, replacing defenseman Joel Edmundson, who was played on injured reserve on Monday because of an upper-body injury.

The Blackhawks also come into Wednesday night's game as one of the hottest teams in the league, having won their last six games, including beating Dallas in overtime in their most recent game on Sunday night.

Part of their success can be attributed to coach Joel Quenneville's decision to put his top two forwards, center Jonathan Toews and right winger Patrick Kane, on the same line for the first time since the 2009-2010 season.

The Blackhawks have gone 6-0 since Toews and Kane were reunited. Toews did not have a goal and just two assists in the team's first seven games but has four goals and four assists during the winning streak. Kane has scored three goals and added five assists since the pair began playing together.

"If our line can set the tone, or create more, have more shifts in their end, it's going to be good for our team in the long run," Kane told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It could be a great thing for our team, and one of those things that you didn't really expect to happen."

Corey Crawford is expected to start in goal for the Blackhawks. He has won his last three games, allowing a combined three goals.
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Blues • The Blues beat the Blackhawks in the season opener 5-2 in Chicago. They split two regular-season meetings at Scottrade last season and split four playoff games there. The Blues have won consecutive games for the first time since the first three games of the season. … The Blues have just one power-play goal in their past six games, covering 21 chances. … Jake Allen will start in goal for the Blues.

Blackhawks • After getting off to a 3-3-1 start, the Blackhawks have won six straight and taken a three-point lead over the Blues. Chicago is second in the league in goals scored with 47 and also has the second-largest goal difference at 14. The team’s once-anemic penalty kill is playing much better and has killed 18 of its past 19 after starting the season stopping only 12 of 26. Artem Anisimov leads the team in points with 17 (8 goals, 9 assists).

Injuries • Blues — D Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), D Joel Edmundson (upper body) are out. Blackhawks – F Tyler Motte (lower body), D Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body) are out.
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Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks are after their seventh straight victory. They have points in eight straight games (7-0-1) and 10 of their past 11 (9-1-1). Center Artem Anisimov has eight goals and 17 points during a 12-game point streak. "It's nice to see guys like [Anisimov] get the start that he has," captain Jonathan Toews said. "We're all talking like we want him to keep it up, but I don't think it should even be looked at that way. I think he's playing good hockey and he's getting the chances that he deserves." Left wing Andrew Desjardins returns from a foot injury and will step in for Tyler Motte (lower body), who will miss the next 2-3 weeks. Desjardins will play his first game of the season. "It seems like it's been a long road to get into 100 percent," he said. "I'm just excited to get back out there. Obviously the team's playing well and I just want to do my part." Rookie Nick Schmaltz will get a shot at playing with Toews and Patrick Kane on the top line after having some shifts with them against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. "He's certainly got good offensive ability as far as play recognition, handling the puck," coach Joel Quenneville said of Schmaltz. "I think he's got some scoring ability. Playing with those two guys, I think that plays to his strengths."

Blues team scope

St. Louis Blues right wing Nail Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for a third straight game. Yakupov, who has two goals and two assists in six games after being acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 7, did not have a point the past five games he played. "It's not my decision I'm not playing," Yakupov said. "Obviously I couldn't be happy about it. So, it's a coach's decision and nothing I can do about it. ... The four lines are playing good, winning the games and it's coach's decision to not put me in the lineup. So I can't say anything." Coach Ken Hitchcock said Yakupov doesn't need to change anything in his game. "He just needs to be ready when it's his turn," Hitchcock said. "Easy thing for a coach to say that we're a team of 14 forwards." Hitchcock won't change anything aside from defenseman Petteri Lindbohm replacing Joel Edmundson (upper body) in his season debut. The Blues have won two straight and trail the Blackhawks by three points in the Central Division standings.

Blackhawks projected lineup

Nick Schmaltz -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman -- Marcus Kruger -- Richard Panik
Andrew Desjardins -- Dennis Rasmussen -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Brian Campbell
Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Corey Crawford
Scott Darling

Scratched: Vinnie Hinostroza, Michal Rozsival
Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Tyler Motte (lower body)

Blues projected lineup

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
Petteri Lindbohm -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen
Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nail Yakupov
Injured: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), Joel Edmundson (upper body)

Status report

Toews came up limping after a collision with Hartman in a morning skate drill but said everything's "all good."... Van Riemsdyk is skating on his own and Quenneville said the Blackhawks should know by the end of the week whether he'll be able to join them at some point on their annual circus trip. ... Hinostroza will be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game and eighth time this season. ... Rozsival will be scratched for the fourth consecutive game after playing in the previous four. ... Hartman had been playing right wing on the third line before Motte's injury and Panik had been playing left wing on the top line. ... Lindbohm will play with Parayko in Edmundson's absence.

Who's hot

Kane has three goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. ... Hossa has five goals and two assists in his past six games. ... Toews has a three-game goal scoring streak and has five points in three games. ... Allen is 3-0-1 with a 0.98 goals-against average and .959 save percentage with one shutout at home this season. ... Steen has an assist in three straight games. ... Shattenkirk has four assists in his past two games.

This day in history:
1931 Whitey Herzog's birthday
1935 Bob Gibson's birthday
1968 Red Berenson named NHL Player of the Week
1989 Kelly Chase made his NHL debut
1996 Craig MacTavish scored last goal in NHL history by a player without a helmet.

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Last edited by theohall on Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:06 am 
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Chicago has extra reason to fire up for this game since we beat them in their own arena opening night. And that whole knocking-them-out-of-the-playoffs-last-year thing. That too.

Hopefully our inconsistencies are ironed out, but I can't imagine they're gone for good, especially with a couple D-men out.

Happy Birthday Whitey Herzog!

2 points, please. :letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:49 pm 
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What's the deal with Yakupov? Why is he sitting for a 3rd game in a row?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:53 pm 
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Kerfuffle wrote:
What's the deal with Yakupov? Why is he sitting for a 3rd game in a row?


Because the Blues just won 2 in a row with him out of the lineup. He won't get back in until a) the Blues lose or b) a forward gets hurt. Hitchcock is a "hot hand" coach and usually won't change things when the team is winning.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:26 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:24 pm 
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Great kill of the 5 on 3! Especially without being able to use Pietrangelo!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:29 pm 
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I spy Blues boobs


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:51 pm 
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Good 1st Period for The Blues, even if it was a bit sloppy at times. The Blues kept everything to the outside in their own zone, and were forechecking wll all period. They allowed almost nothing except when they were 2 men short - (and not much even then).

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:37 pm 
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Great save by Allen, keeping it a 1-goal game.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:15 pm 
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Great play by Allen thwarting that breakaway chance!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:18 pm 
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The Blues need to score on this PP!

Tarasenko was robbed!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:22 pm 
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2 great saves by Allen! He's played well other than his bad rebound control on the one play that led to a goal. I hope The Blues can score to help undue that.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:28 pm 
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!Another 4 great saves by Allen on the PK!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:31 pm 
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Yet another great save by Allen!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:35 pm 
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Pietrangelo ties it up from the point!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:45 pm 
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A very Bluish loss!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:33 am 
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bleh, happy we tied it up and got a point. Unhappy that we only scored 1 goal again. Allen was phenomenal from I saw though. That's a good sign.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:50 am 
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Corey Crawford stole that win and Seabrook saved 2 goals simply by flinging his stick around and getting lucky.

Blues played a solid game, after the first 5 minutes, consistently attacking the front of the net and forcing the Hawks to protect their goaltender. Unfortunately, late mistakes (as in bad penalties) disrupted the Blues efforts to actually win. Deserved a better result for the effort.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:56 am 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
bleh, happy we tied it up and got a point. Unhappy that we only scored 1 goal again. Allen was phenomenal from I saw though. That's a good sign.


Yep. If you take out the recent game against Colorado, we have scored 8 goals in the last 7 games.

9 Nov vs. CHI: 1 goal
5 Nov vs. CLS: 2 goals
3 Nov vs. DAL: 2 goals
1 Nov vs. NYR: 0 goals
29 Oct vs. LA: 1 goal
27 Oct vs. DET: 1 goal
25 Oct vs. CGY: 1 goal

Then you have the random goal outbursts like 6 Nov vs. COL (5 goals) and 22 Oct vs. CGY (6 goals). This offense is very frustrating so far.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:45 pm 
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Tarasenko had a wide open goal - not sure how he missed that one but it happens. Kind of odd to see someone else wearing the C for the Blues that wasn't Backes - I'm so used to him being in there. And Panarin getting in his first fight - that was a surprise for sure.


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