St. Louis Blues vs. New Jersey Devils: Game Preview


The St. Louis Blues take on the New Jersey Devils in the second game of a quick home-and-home series on Thursday night. The Blues defeated the Devils 1-0 on Tuesday night in New Jersey, relying on a spectacular shutout performance from rookie goaltender Jake Allen and a clutch goal from Vladimir Tarasenko to come up with the victory. On Thursday, they’ll be looking for more of the same, but the offense will need to be more productive, because it would be tough for the Blues to count on getting two shutouts in a row against the same team.

In case you’re still looking for more info on the Devils, you can check out our Tuesday piece discussing the team with David Berger, the editor of our Devils FanSided site, Pucks and Pitchforks. You can also see our postgame thoughts from Game 1 of the back-to-back over at their site.

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It’s unknown at this point whether Allen or Brian Elliott will be between the pipes on Thursday night for the Blues. In the past, coach Ken Hitchcock has had a (very loose) “rule” that if a goaltender gets a shutout, he’s entitled to start the next game. However, with the Blues effectively having a timeshare in net between Allen and Elliott this year, that rule is pretty much out the window. The Blues might want to keep going with the hot hand against the Devils and give Allen his first consecutive starts of the year, but at the same time they don’t want to disrupt the positive performance that Elliott has had, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see either goalie get the start on Thursday.

The Blues may get center Paul Stastny back on Thursday night, as Hitchcock said on 101 ESPN radio’s St. Louis Faceoff Tonight that the forward will return either Thursday against the Devils or Saturday night against the Nashville Predators. Stastny could be a major boost to the lineup, as he had a goal and three assists in the first three games before going down with a shoulder injury mere seconds into the Blues’ fourth game.