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Capitals at Blues preview: Allen, Tarasenko the keys to the game

The Blues will need quality goaltending and a scoring touch to beat the Caps.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals are good. They’ve won nine of their last ten games, have lost only nine games in regulation all season, and have Alex Ovechkin.

The St. Louis Blues are inconsistent. They have Vladimir Tarasenko, who hasn’t scored a goal for five games, a starting goalie who isn’t playing very well, and are 5-5-0 in their last ten. They also managed to lose a disappointing game to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, marred by defensive unawareness and sloppy goaltending.

Hey, at least the offense was firing.

The offense going to be key tonight. Getting a puck past Holtby is easier said than done; defending Ovechkin might as well be rocket science for the Blues.

The Blues absolutely have to keep firing pucks at the net to get one to squeak in, but Ken Hitchcock either misspoke or doesn’t have a lot of confidence about tonight:

"They're playing the best of anybody in the League right now. To think we're going to come in here and outscore them is unrealistic," said Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock. "For two of the last three games, we've had our A-game, and our A-game can beat everybody. That's our attitude."

Normally scoring four goals against the opposition is a sign of an A-game, but not if you’re the Blues.

Here’re your lines for tonight. Jaskin is on a line with Tarasenko, apparently to “help him.” Ok. Nail Yakupov sits and Scottie Upshall’s back in.

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz - Paul Stastny - Alexander Steen

Dmitrij Jaskin - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri - Patrik Berglund - David Perron

Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Defense

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Robert Bortuzzo - Colton Parayko

Goalie

Jake Allen