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Avalanche at Blues Preview

Pietrangelo expects ”big response” following blowout loss to Minnesota.

NHL: OCT 19 Blues at Avalanche Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche (29-19-4) will face the St.Louis Blues (32-20-3) tonight at the Scottrade Center in a critical divisional match-up with potential playoff implications. Carter Hutton will get the start in net for St. Louis, and he will be looking for his 15th win of the year against the resurgent Avalanche. Hutton was yanked after giving up 3 goals on 8 shots in the first period against the Wild, but Allen didn’t fare much better in relief, surrendering 3 goals on 12 shots over two periods. Colorado is 6-3-1 over their last 10 games, and they are fresh off of a solid 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

“The Avalanche are without their leading scorer in Nathan MacKinnon, who has missed three games with an upper-body injury.

The Blues have beaten the Avalanche in both meetings this season. Overall, the Blues have won eight of their last nine against the Avalanche (8-0-1), which includes four straight victories at Scottrade Center.

The Blues haven’t allowed a power play goal to the Avalanche in their last seven meetings at Scottrade Center (17-for-17) and have killed off 33 of Colorado’s 35 power-play attempts over the last 14 matchups.” [NHL.com]

Meanwhile, the Blues are 6-4-0 over their last 10 games, and are looking to wash the taste of Minnesota’s 6-2 shellacking out of their mouths:

““Goalies stand on their head for two months and then we do that to them,” Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said after the game. “… It’s a big week for us divisionally. We have a lot of games here against divisional opponents. We have to respond no matter what these next two games. It’s too big of a week for us, too big of points for us not to.

”I expect a big response (tonight).” [NHL.com]

Judging by Robert Bortuzzo’s assignment to the press box, the Blues will not elect to dress an extra defenseman tonight. Yeo appears to be bringing rookie Tage Thompson back into the mix after sitting the dynamic youngster against Minnesota on Tuesday.

St.Louis has scored 4 goals in their last 3 games combined. The shots (37 against Minnesota, 33 against Buffalo, and 33 against the Bruins) are coming, but the chances just aren’t being buried. Tarasenko is goalless in his last 5 games, and both Schenn and Stastny haven’t scored a goal in their last 4 games. These key contributors for the Blues will need to get back on track if St.Louis has any hope of keeping up with the torrid pace of their competitors in the Central Division.