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Blues at Hurricanes probable lines: Balance the scales

Coach Berube is looking for some evenness among the lines.

NHL: MAR 01 Blues at Hurricanes Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Two lines are status quo for tonight, and two are a little bit different. The line of Ivan Barbashev - Robert Thomas - Vladimir Tarasenko is staying together - it’s been one of the most consistently strong lines throughout the season. The fourth line of Klim Kostin - Dakota Joshua - James Neal looked good against the Nashville Predators and so, they remain together.

David Perron and Ryan O’Reilly, though, are suffering a temporary breakup. O’Reilly will be centering Jordan Kyrou and Pavel Buchnevich, while Tyler Bozak will be between Perron and Brandon Saad. Berube had this to say about his tweaks:

“I thought with O’Reilly and Saad coming off COVID (protocols), them together with Perron, the energy was low,” Berube said. “Kyrou and Buchnevich (have) good energy right now, they’re playing good hockey. That’s why I put them with O’Reilly. Saad and Perron have some pretty good chemistry together the way they play the game. Saad has good speed, Perron’s a shooter and ‘Bozie’ can distribute the puck and do all the rights things coming out of their zone.”

Goaltending tonight is a mystery, but the Blues will be at home tomorrow against a Western Conference opponent, the Edmonton Oilers. I’m not sure if the team wants to throw Joel Hofer out there against Connor McDavid.

Here are tonight’s lines, from stlblues.com:

Forwards

Kyrou - O’Reilly - Buchnevich

Barbashev - Thomas - Tarasenko

Saad - Bozak - Perron

Kostin - Joshua - Neal

Defense

Scandella - Parayko

Rosen - Faulk

Walman - Bortuzzo

Goalie

Binnington / Hofer