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Blues at Ducks Preview

Carter Hutton to start back to back games after impressive shutout win against the Sharks

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks (24-13-7) will host the St.Louis Blues (22-16-5) at the Honda Center tonight. The Blues are on the wrong end of a back-to-back, and the Ducks will be looking to capitalize on a tired team in the midst of a grueling schedule. Tonight’s contest represents the third game in four days for St.Louis, and fatigue is going to be a significant factor.

Jake Allen has hit a nasty slump as we approach the All-Star break. His seven incomplete games are the highest in the NHL, and as a result, the Blues have turned to Carter Hutton for a second consecutive start after a stellar outing against the San Jose Sharks.

Hitchcock’s line tinkering appears to have paid off last night. Tarasenko put 3 shots on net and finished the game with an assist, ending a two-game shotless streak that the Sharks CSN broadcast team couldn’t stop blabbing about. Yakupov nearly had 13 minutes of ice time, if you can believe it, and if Nail can dig his way out of the doghouse, he might have a chance to put a few respectable games together. Steen picked up another ENG, Perron notched his 11th goal of the season, Shattenkirk had a couple of assists, and Jori finally managed to find the back of the net, redirecting a quick wrister from Pietrangelo past Martin Jones in the third period. Undoubtedly, it was the kind of showing St.Louis needed after an anemic performance against the Kings, but can they carry this momentum into Anaheim?

The Ducks are currently sitting atop the Pacific Division with 56 points, and while Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have been having some trouble finding the back of the net this season (8 goals for Perry and only 5 for Getzlaf), Ryan Kesler has been on a tear, scoring 18 goals along with 19 assists. Even Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg are flirting with the 30 point mark nearly 45 games into the season. The Ducks have a sturdy home record at 14-5-2, and currently, they’re on a 3 game winning streak. It’s going to be a tall order for the Blues to squeak out of the Honda Center with a road win.

Stats!

Stats from SportingCharts

Projected Lineups

Anaheim Ducks:

Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg

Rickard Rakell-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie-Antoine Vermette-Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa-Logan Shaw-Stefan Noesen

Cam Fowler-Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm-Josh Manson

Shea Theodore-Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

St.Louis Blues:

Alexander Steen-Paul Stastny-Jaden Schwartz

Nail Yakupov-Jori Lehtera-Vladimir Tarasenko

David Perron-Patrik Berglund-Robby Fabbri

Dmitrij Jaskin-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves

Alex Pietrangelo-Colton Parayko

Jay Bouwmesster-Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson-Robert Bortuzzo

Carter Hutton

[OC Register]