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Wild at Blues preview: Can the Blues gain ground in the Central?

Despite recent strong play, the Blues are four points out of first.

Minnesota Wild v St Louis Blues Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

In their last ten games, the Blues are a solid 6-3-1. Unfortunately, the Jets are 6-2-2, the Predators are 8-1-1, and the Dallas Stars, who have one fewer point than the Blues do, are 7-2-1.

Eep.

Welcome to the Central Division, where everything is a log jam! Fun. As an added perk, the Blues are playing their next three games against Central Division opponents (Thursday and Friday, the Blues will be seeing the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets).

Tonight’s visitors, the Minnesota Wild, have also been playing decent hockey as of late. They’re 6-2-2 in their last ten. They’re 10-15-1 on the road, but they’re still not a team that the Blues should take lightly. The Blues have played them well recently, with a 1-0-1 record so far this season against Minnesota, and going 6-2-1 against them in their last nine regular season matchups. On the other hand, the Wild are 8-7-4 in their last 19 games, so this is a pretty close comparison.

The Blues’ defense needs to be solid against Minnesota's... defense? The Wild are tied with Nashville for tops in the NHL with 123 points from their blueliners. The Blues are 15th in the league in defensive scoring, but they’re only 20 points behind the Wild in scoring.

The Wild probably have a bit of hard feelings about the Blues knocking them out of the 2017 playoffs, so when you couple that with the standings crunch, tonight’s game might be a hard one for either team.

Who will be the Blues’ goalie tonight? Despite a strong game in Boston, Jake Allen lost out a chance to start again to Carter Hutton in Buffalo. Hutton got the shutout, so chances are good that Hutts will get the start tonight. Why not? He’s 9-1-1 over his last 11 starts. Allen will get back in either Thursday or Friday night.

Tonight’s game is a NBCSN broadcast, so adjust your dials accordingly. Of course, if you’re not in front of a TV, you can stream the game on the NBC Sports website or their apps.