St. Louis Blues Get Set to Host Eastern Conference Champion Tampa Bay Lightning


St. Louis Blues Game 9/82: Tuesday, October 27, 7:00 PM vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The St. Louis Blues will have one of their tougher tests of the season on Tuesday night at Scottrade Center, as the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning come into town. As was the case for much of the 2014-15 season, Tampa currently sits in second place in the Atlantic Division, as their 5-2-2 record thus far ranks them only behind the undefeated Montreal Canadiens.

Most significantly for the Blues, they’ll have to hope that a depleted offensive attack which now lacks key setup men Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz, and Kevin Shattenkirk can make something happen against St. Louis native Ben Bishop, one of the league’s best goaltenders. Over eight straight starts to begin the season (a Lightning franchise record), Bishop had a 2.61 goals-against average and .907 save percentage while accumulating a 5-2-1 record. Bishop finally gave way to backup Kristers Gudlevskis in the Lightning’s last game against the Chicago Blackhawks, but he’s expected to be back between the pipes on Tuesday against the Blues.

For the first time in a while, the Blues will actually gain healthy players for their lineup on Tuesday night, rather than having to incorporate new players to replace injured ones. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri will return to the lineup to play his third NHL game after missing the past six games with a concussion. In addition, forward Scottie Upshall is expected to get back in the lineup on Tuesday after being a late scratch in Saturday’s game due to a bout with the flu. Fabbri and Upshall will provide some needed playmaking ability up front for a team that was forced to use an 11-forward, seven-defenseman lineup Saturday because of the lack of forward depth. With both of those players back in the lineup, forward Ty Rattie is expected to be a healthy scratch after making his 2015-16 debut with 6:20 of ice time on Saturday.

Jake Allen will get the start in goal on Tuesday and will try to right the ship after starting off the season 1-2 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Though coach Ken Hitchcock is still trying to get Allen regular opportunities during the early part of the season, his start against the defending Eastern Conference champions on Tuesday comes more because of circumstance, as Brian Elliott missed Monday’s practice because of the flu. It should be interesting to see if Chicago Wolves goalie Pheonix Copley, who had a shutout during Sunday’s game, is called up under emergency conditions to serve as Allen’s backup on Tuesday night.

Here’s what the Blues’ lineup is expected to look like against the Lightning:

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Next: Blues' Robby Fabbri Back, Kevin Shattenkirk Out Against Tampa

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