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Canadiens at Blues preview: Jake Allen returns

Get ready for the tribute video.

Montreal Canadiens v St Louis Blues Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

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Believe it or not, the Blues do not have the most man-games lost to injury this year. That unfortunate distinction goes to the Vegas Golden Knights. The runner up? Tonight’s opponents, the Montreal Canadiens:

The Blues feel like they’re getting pummeled by injuries and Covid-19 because everyone has fallen onto the list and out of the lineup at once. Still, despite adversity, the Blues have 32 points on the season. Montreal has but 15.

Heading into tonight’s game, the Blues sit in fourth place in the Central Division, part of the log jam in the standings led by the Minnesota Wild. A win could knock them into second, depending on how tonight’s other games shake out. A large part of this has been their six game winning streak at home, capped off by Nathan Walker’s incredible hat trick against Detroit on Thursday evening.

The Habs are 6-19-3 on the season after making it to the Stanley Cup Final last year. On a five-game losing streak, the Canadiens were shut out 2-0 at home by the Blackhawks for Marc-Andre Fleury’s 500th career win. At least fans in Montreal had something to cheer about, even if it didn’t have a thing to do with their home team’s performance.

Blues fans may also have something French Canadian to cheer about soon. David Perron is working his way back from his upper body injury (suspected concussion) and skated with the team yesterday afternoon. One of the Blues’ key forwards, he’s missed the last five games. He won’t be back today, or even tomorrow against the Ducks, but it’s something to look forward to.

Tonight’s game is a goalie-swap of sorts. Jake Allen, of course, was drafted by the Blues in 2008 and played seven seasons with the team before being traded to the Canadiens as part of a cap clear in the 2020 off-season. Charlie Lindgren spent five years in the Habs’ system, playing 14 games for them in the 2017-2018 season. So far this year with the Blues, Lindgren is 2-0-0 with a 1.81 GAA and a .941 save percentage.

Joel Edmundson and Mike Hoffman will also be returning to Enterprise Center tonight, but fans should expect the focus to be on Allen’s homecoming.

Lindgren might be en route to another win tonight. The Habs have won just two of their last thirteen games.