St. Louis Blues Attempt to Finish Homestand Strong Against Los Angeles Kings


St. Louis Blues Game 12/82: Tuesday, November 3, 7:30 PM vs. Los Angeles Kings

The St. Louis Blues will once again look to build on what’s been a fantastic 2015-16 campaign thus far on Tuesday night, as they will host the Los Angeles Kings for what will be the final game of a five-game homestand. The Blues have struggled in recent years against the big, bruising Kings, and based on Los Angeles’s start this year, it looks like Tuesday’s game will provide yet another tough test. The Kings are in second place in the NHL’s Pacific Division with a 7-4 record so far (though that record would tie them for sixth place in the Central Division).
After looking to be on the decline last season, goalie Jonathan Quick has been better this season and has given the Kings a chance in nearly every game. However, Quick started on Monday night against the Chicago Blackhawks and allowed four goals in what could easily be considered his worst start of the season, so it’s highly possible that backup Jhonas Enroth will get the start against the Blues on Tuesday.
The Blues will be looking to go 4-0-1 to finish the five-game homestand while improving to a 9-2-1 record on the year, which could vault them into first place in the Central. That’s a pretty solid start for a team that has now lost six different players for a combined 27 games due to injury and illness during this young season.

It should be interesting to see which forward is the odd man out of the Blues’ lineup on Tuesday night. A third line of Robby Fabbri and Ty Rattie centered by Dmitrij Jaskin skated during practice on Monday, with Scott Gomez centering an extra line that consisted of his former teammates and current Blues tryout candidates Dainius Zubrus and Martin Havlat. While those groupings would seem to suggest that Gomez is going to be a healthy scratch on Tuesday,’s Lou Korac clarified the situation after practice, writing that coach Ken Hitchcock wanted to get a good look at Havlat and Zubrus between a legitimate NHL center in Gomez.

With Jaskin, exclusively a wing during his NHL career, in the middle of Fabbri and Rattie on Tuesday, that could be a sign that he’ll be the odd man out against the Kings. While that would be OK against most teams considering Jaskin’s less-than-spectacular production this year, it makes virtually no sense to sit the 6-foot-2, 217-pound Jaskin against LA’s big and aggressive squad rather than the 6-foot, 178-pound Rattie or the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Gomez. We’ll see how concerned Hitchcock is with production compared with using the most logical lineup to contend with the Kings’ style of play, bit it would seem most logical to give Rattie a night off despite his strong performance on Saturday.

Jake Allen will get his fourth straight start in net on Tuesday following a spectacular week in which he won the NHL’s Second Star of the Week award. Brian Elliott fans need not worry, however; Elliott will get a chance to extend his streak without a regulation loss on Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Here’s how the Blues’ lineup could end up looking on Tuesday evening:

Alexander Steen-Jori LehteraVladimir Tarasenko

Scottie UpshallDavid BackesTroy Brouwer

Robby FabbriScott GomezDmitrij Jaskin

Steve OttKyle BrodziakRyan Reaves

Alex PietrangeloJay Bouwmeester

Carl GunnarssonColton Parayko

Joel EdmundsonRobert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Next: Blues Set to Get Vladimir Tarasenko Back on Tuesday Night

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