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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 17th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Blues (4-1-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (4-1-1), 8 p.m.

(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 homestand.

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 games.

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 Edmonton.

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 Oct. 9.

The Blues won that contest 3-2 as Alex Steen scored with 21.1 seconds left in regulation.

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 tiebreaker.

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 better."

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.

10/17 10:46:43 ET

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NBA
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
2nd
CITA 69
ETST 71
 
Half
GWEBB 44
CSOU 37
 
Half
VMI 36
CHAT 31
 
Half
BRY 29
CCST 34
 
Half
PBY 34
CCAR 23
 
Half
DREX 28
DEL 35
 
Half
UNCA 41
HIGH 42
 
Half
TEMPL 29
HOU 34
 
2nd
EKENT 31
JVST 28
 
Half
WRST 28
UWMIL 26
 
Half
MSU 41
MINN 36
 
Half
RFLSH 30
MNTER 26
 
Half
OSU 42
NEB 24
 
Half
MAST 36
NEOM 28
 
Half
ELON 28
NE 27
 
Half
LIB 32
RAD 30
 
Half
FD 40
SHU 44
 
Half
UNCG 36
SAMF 33
 
1st
LIU 28
Terriers 25
 
Half
TENN 30
VANDY 19
 
Half
RMU 44
WAGN 29
 
Half
FUR 19
WCU 24
 
Half
IUPUI 34
WILL 25
 
Half
CAMP 30
WINT 25
 
Half
MERC 25
WOFF 35
 
1st
APP 10
GSOUT 22
 
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1st Intermission
NYR 1
ARI 3
 
1st Intermission
CLB 1
MON 3
 
1st Intermission
BUF 1
VAN 1
 
1st
FLA 0
CHI 1
 
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TOR 0
PHI 0
 
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