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Blues at Golden Knights Preview: Not as good as promised

Both teams are significantly underperforming this season.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

To be a hundred percent honest, the Blues did not play a bad game on Wednesday night save for the one small fact that they didn’t score a goal. But! Unless you count Jay Bouwmeester as a Blackhawk, Jake Allen and the Blues’s defense were perfect. It’s an interesting switch - for most of the start of this season, the Blues’ defense has been the problem and the offense has been running on all cylinders. Wednesday it was dead in the water.

Part of that issue is the loss of Brayden Schenn to injury, and that problem has been fixed for tonight. Schenn returns, on a line with Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bozak. Making room for Schenn is Pat Maroon, returning to the bench after being a non-factor on Wednesday. Maroon was injured in Wednesday evening’s game and will sit out tonight and Saturday night’s games.

A decidedly bigger factor, one that can’t get a damn break, will be on the second defensive pairing. Jay Bouwmeester can’t win for losing right now, regardless of if it’s his own fault or not.

The Golden Nights, after making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, are 8-10-1 this season despite Marc-Andre Fleury’s three shutouts this year. The Golden Nights still score at a decent clip after they broke up their offense this summer. They’re at 2.79 goals a game this year, good for 10th overall. The Blues are eighth in the league at 3.25 goals a game.

Here’re tonight’s projected lines, from the Blues’ gameday blog.

Forwards

Schwartz - O’Reilly - Tarasenko

Fabbri - Bozak - Schenn

Sanford - Thomas - Perron

Blais - Sundqvist - Barbashev

Defense

Gunnarsson - Pietrangelo

Edmundson - Bouwmeester

Dunn - Parayko

Goalie

Allen