(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues look to rebound from their first
loss of the season on Thursday night in a rematch with the defending Stanley
Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blues began the campaign with their first ever 4-0 start before getting
routed by San Jose 6-2 on Tuesday in the finale of a season-opening five-game
The Blues got goals from Vladimir Tarasenko -- his fourth start game with a
tally -- and Roman Polak, but went 0-for-4 on the power play while allowing
the Sharks to score three times on the man advantage.
Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak was pulled after two periods after allowing
four goals on 26 shots. Brian Elliott had 11 saves on 13 shots after taking
over for his first action of the season.
"They came in and played the right way. We didn't, and we paid for it," said
Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock, whose club lost for the first time in its last
11 regular-season games at home.
Tuesday's contest also saw an ugly incident in the first period, when Blues
forward Maxim Lapierre drove Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle into the glass face
first 5:22 into the game. Boyle laid motionless on the ice for several minutes
before getting carted off.
Lapierre drew a five-minute major for checking from behind, a fighting major
after an ensuing altercation and was ejected from the game. He has been
suspended by the league pending an in-person hearing, which is required by the
collective bargaining agreement for any suspension that could exceed five
With Lapierre out and forward Brenden Morrow not practicing on Wednesday,
Magnus Paajarvi is expected to make his Blues debut tonight.
Paajarvi, the 10th overall pick of the 2009 draft by Edmonton, was acquired
from the Oilers on June 10 along with a 2014 second-round pick for forward
David Perron. The 22-year-old had 26 goals and 58 points in 163 games with
Morrow's status, meanwhile, is unknown as he was also hit from behind versus
the Sharks. He left the game briefly, but did return to action.
Halak is expected to start tonight, with Elliott likely to get the call on
Friday in Winnipeg. Halak is 4-1-3 with a 2.07 goals against average in eight
career meetings with the Blackhawks, including a 36-save victory at home on
The Blues won that contest 3-2 as Alex Steen scored with 21.1 seconds left in
St. Louis will now eye a second straight victory in Chicago after snapping an
eight-game series road losing streak with a shootout win at the United Center
on April 4 of last season.
The Blackhawks picked up a third straight victory overall on Tuesday, besting
the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout. Patrick Sharp scored his 200th
career goal with a first-period tally, then had the lone goal in the
Sharp stuffed a low shot past Cam Ward in the third round and Corey Crawford
sealed up the win when he swallowed up Jeff Skinner's wrister.
Marian Hossa also scored in the first period and Crawford made 32 saves, but
was bested twice in the third frame to force extra time.
"It seems like we always have great starts and wind up making it interesting
at the end," said Hossa. "We have to learn from this and manage the game
Chicago has points in five of six to start the season (4-1-1) and is likely to
turn again tonight to Crawford, who is 9-2-2 with a 2.50 GAA lifetime versus
the Blues. He yielded three goals on 34 shots in the earlier loss this season.
The Sports Network