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Capitals at Blues preview: Tarasenko a game-time decision

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The Blues are missing their most explosive player at a time when the offense has disappeared.

NHL: APR 02 Capitals at Blues

New year, new Blues?

The team has been trapped in a scoring slump that doesn’t just impact one or two players, it’s been impacting everyone not selected to the All-Star game. It’s been especially dinging Vladimir Tarasenko, who has only 11 goals and 22 points in 37 games. Tarasenko may not be getting a chance to add anything to his totals tonight; he’s been sick and is more than likely a game-time decision against the defending Cup champions.

As Tarasenko more than likely won’t play, that leaves some space for Carl Gunnarsson to finally return to the lineup if the team runs with 7 defensemen. Gunnarsson hasn’t played since November 18th, and thanks to that injury against the Golden Knights, has only played in seven games this season.

Here are tonight’s lines; recently returned forward Robby Fabbri may be pulling some double duty on the third and fourth lines to begin the game:

Forwards

Steen - O’Reilly - Perron

Schwartz - Schenn - Thomas

Fabbri - Bozak - Maroon

Barbashev - Sundqvist

Defense

Bouwmeester - Pietrangelo

Edmundson - Parayko

Dunn - Bortuzzo

Gunnarsson

Goalie

Allen

Thanks to the lack of scoring (the blues have scored twice in their last two games while allowing eight goals total, and many of their losses have been lopsided blowouts) the Blues haven’t won three games in a row this season and enter tonight’s play dead last in the entire NHL. On the bright side, they’ve played the fewest games in the conference, so there’s still an opportunity to make up ground if they decide to focus and start off 2019 on the right foot. Weirder things have happened.