St. Louis Blues vs. New York Islanders: Game Preview


After defeating them 6-4 on Saturday on Long Island, the St. Louis Blues will meet up with the New York Islanders again on Thursday night at Scottrade Center and attempt to complete the season sweep of their Eastern Conference opponent.

It will be a huge game for Blues goaltender Jake Allen, who gave up three goals on 12 shots in the first period on Saturday. While Allen wasn’t getting much help from the Blues’ skaters in the defensive zone, the fact of the matter is that Martin Brodeur took over for him and was able to propel the Blues to a win in New York, then came back to St. Louis and was in net for a 4-2 defeat of the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. While Allen isn’t necessarily in the doghouse, he needs to prove that he can be trusted on Thursday in order to hold off Brodeur from soaking up more of his playing time.

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The Blues’ lineup should be very fluid heading into Thursday. Only one thing seems to be for sure: defenseman Carl Gunnarsson will remain out after suffering what appeared to be a concussion on Saturday. Beyond that, defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forwards Alexander Steen and David Backes look to be questionable. Bouwmeester, who has missed the last eight games with a groin injury, and Steen, who has missed the past two with a lower-body injury, both skated on Wednesday and seem to be on track to return to the lineup. Backes, who suffered significant facial injuries in Tuesday’s game, did not practice and seems to be more doubtful for Thursday. If Backes is out Thursday, Joakim Lindstrom and Chris Porter, who have been reserve forwards for portions of this season but have been heroes in the past two wins, figure to be in the lineup.