ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues are back on the road facing the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday for the first of four times this season.
While Chicago has managed to string together some wins in the past few weeks, the organization has struggled overall. The Blackhawks currently sit at last place in the Central Division with 10 regulation wins and will take the ice a man short against the St. Louis Blues because of injuries and the salary cap.
Coach Jeremy Colliton says forward Andrew Shaw will miss Monday night's game against the Stanley Cup champions with an unspecified injury. Colliton says Chicago will go with 11 forwards and six defensemen because of the cap Forwards Dylan Strome and Drake Caggiula are out with concussions, and defenseman Duncan Keith will miss his second straight game with a groin injury. Goaltender Robin Lehner is ill.
The Blackhawks have dropped five of six heading into the matchup with the Blues.
Blues Riding High
Fortunately for the Blues, this game comes at a time where the team is riding a three-game winning streak. And quite frankly, they’ve made it look easy.
Most of the Blues lineup will look similar to how it did Saturday.
Blues head coach Craig Berube has made it clear he’s not afraid to move pieces around during the game like he did Saturday to spark some offense.
Robert Bortuzzo will be activated following his four-game suspension after he cross-checked Nashville forward Viktor Arvidsson.
He will be in the lineup tonight. Derrick Pouliot was sent down to San Antonio.
Carl Gunnarsson did not play in Saturday’s game due to an illness and will be out of the lineup again tonight.
Jake Allen will make the start in net for the Blues tonight. Like Jordan Binnington, Allen has also been fantastic in between the pipes this year.
He heads into tonight’s matchup with a .914 save percentage. Much better than where he was at this time last year.
St. Louis is coming off a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Scoring Coming From Everyone
The best part of that game wasn’t necessarily the five goals that were scored, but who scored them.
Justin Faulk scored the first goal of the game, which happened to be his first in a Blues uniform.
Nathan Walker scored next to tally his first goal with the big team in only his second game. It was the first time two players scored their first goal of the season on the same night in the organization since 2005.
Add on to that record by noting Jacob de la Rose’s first assist with the team.
Ivan Barbshev continued his run with another goal. That extends his streak to four assists and two goals in three games.
MacKenzie MacEachern scored next, to further showcase his potential as an everyday player.
This leaves us with the fifth goal scored by Jaden Schwartz, who needs to be scoring on a regular basis.
The first five names mentioned are ones the team hasn’t relied on in the past. And definitely not before the start of this season…or week.
The team will expect production from these players again tonight. It’s no longer an advantage, but a requirement.
The team noted that Oskar Sundqvist’s injury is less severe than what was first thought, and he will return sooner than expected.
Alexander Steen has been skating and could also return in the near future.
Sammy Blais is still recovering from wrist surgery.
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