St. Louis Blues Look to Avoid Elimination in Game 6 Against Minnesota Wild

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Blues’ Projected Lineup


Alexander Steen-David BackesT.J. Oshie

Jaden SchwartzJori LehteraVladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij JaskinPaul StastnyPatrik Berglund

Chris PorterSteve OttRyan Reaves


Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo

Carl GunnarssonKevin Shattenkirk

Barret JackmanZbynek Michalek

Goalie: Jake Allen

Scratches: Olli JokinenTy RattieMarcel GocRobert BortuzzoChris Butler, Niklas Lundstrom

There’s really no telling what the Blues’ lines will look like on Sunday afternoon. Coach Ken Hitchcock got so desperate to get something going in the third period of Friday’s loss that he used agitator Steve Ott on the first line with David Backes and T.J. Oshie.

One change that does seem likely is the substitution of center Jori Lehtera, who missed Game 5 with an injury, for Marcel Goc, who replaced Lehtera and performed rather poorly. Though Lehtera struggled in Game 3 and had a minus-3 rating, he has contributed three assists during the series, so he’ll be a positive addition.

It’s also worth noting that Hitchcock has been known to panic and make lineup changes in potential elimination games in the past. Last year, he removed Adam Cracknell from the lineup for Game 6 and inserted forward Derek Roy, who went on to collect a minus-2 rating in the game. In the final game of the Blues’ four-game series loss against the Kings in 2012, Hitchcock switched up the defensive lineup and inserted Ian Cole for Carlo Colaiacovo. So while the Lehtera-for-Goc move is almost certain to happen, assuming health, it also wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities for Hitchcock to make another arbitrary substitution just for the sake of change.

Next: Wild Projected Lineup