Hutton gets start tonight, hoping to build off solid debut

ST. LOUIS -- Carter Hutton wants to pick up where he left off.

Maybe not the volume of shots he faced or the fact that the Blues were playing three players short before holding off a furious New York Rangers push in the third period of a 3-2 Blues victory, but Hutton, who will get the start today when the Blues get a rematch with the Calgary Flames (7 p.m.; FSN, KMOX 1120-AM), hopes to build off a 33-save performance and a solid outing.

"Yeah definitely. Just hope to turn that period into every period," Hutton said. "Just like I've said before, when I get a chance to play, just go out and compete and battle. I've got a good team in front of me to help me out."

Hutton last played 10 days ago, but coach Ken Hitchcock wants to keep the player he called one of the stories of training camp involved for the Blues, who are off to a solid 4-1-1 start after winning 6-4 in Calgary.

"I think it's like any other goalie that's playing a third of the games or a quarter of the games," Hitchcock said. "You've got to get them in a rhythm and you've got to get them in a consistent rhythm and that's what we want to do. We don't want to go too long without having him play, and he helps us win.

"If he's going to play like he did the last game, that's outstanding. It gives us a chance to win every night. He just needs to know from a training standpoint to get in a consistent rhythm throughout the year. We've promised him that we're going to continue to follow that."

Hutton, who signed a two-year, $2.25 million contract to be Jake Allen's backup, knows his role.

"I knew what I was getting myself into and that was a big reason why I came here and I think we're showing it all the time," Hutton said. "Practice, just working hard in practice. Stay fresh, see a lot of pucks. I like to do a lot of one-timers. I think that's like something where jumping off guys' sticks, it keeps your eyes really tracking the puck well. Fitness-wise in the gym, just doing things to stay strong and stay ready."

But the fact that Hutton can pick up where perhaps Brian Elliott, who will start for the Flames tonight, left off to where he can push Allen and vice versa makes for good, healthy competition.

"We're really good friends," Hutton said. "We established that right away that we get along and we've had fun and that's important, but at the same time, we need to push each other. It's a position where you need guys ... everyone wants to play. At the same time, you've got to push each other to be better and keep each other honest. I think we both do a good job of that. I think that will just generate more team success through individual success."

The Blues' projected lineup:

Robby Fabbri-Paul Stastny-Alexander Steen

David Perron-Jaden Schwartz-Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin-Patrik Berglund-Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson-Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko

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

The healthy scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Ty Rattie and Magnus Paajarvi. Jori Lehtera (upper body) is day to day.

- - -

The Flames' projected lineup:

Johnny Gaudreau-Sean Monahan-Alex Chiasson

Kris Versteeg-Sam Bennett-Troy Brouwer

Lance Bouma-Mikael Backlund-Michael Frolik

Micheal Ferland-Matt Stajan-Matthew Tkachuk

Mark Giordano-Dennis Wideman

TJ Brodie-Deryk Engelland

Nicklas Grossman-Dougie Hamilton

Brian Elliott will get the start in goal after making 32 saves and going 7-for-7 in the shootout against Chicago on Monday. Chad Johnson will be the backup.

Healthy scratches include Freddie Hamilton, Jyrki Jokipakka and Brett Kulak. Ladislav Smid (neck) is out.


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