The Carolina Hurricanes begin another important weekend of action with a home date against the St. Louis Blues. Tied for the second wild card spot alongside the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canes come into play Friday down a defenseman following Calvin de Haan’s post-game injury on Tuesday. De Haan is listed as out with an upper body injury, but the good news for Carolina is that Justin Faulk (upper body) and Micheal Ferland (upper body) each appear to feel well enough to give it a go.
Haydn Fleury, recently recalled from Charlotte, will return to the Canes lineup in place of de Haan. He will make his first appearance since January 23rd. In net, the Canes will again turn to Curtis McElhinney who has emerged victorious in five of his last six starts since returning from an injury although boasting just a 1-6-1 record in his career against St. Louis. Greg McKegg will come back into the lineup, replacing Lucas Wallmark who will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season.
Below is the expected lineup for Rod Brind’Amour:
Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Justin Williams
Micheal Ferland - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Martinook - Brock McGinn
Warren Foegele - Greg McKegg - Saku Maenalanen
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce - Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Scratches: Calvin de Haan (upper body), Lucas Wallmark (healthy), Jake Bean (healthy, and will need to be sent down before the game assuming Faulk plays)
The St. Louis Blues enter Friday’s action still one of the hotter teams in the NHL. Defensively, they have begun to consistently shut teams down, having yielded two or fewer goals in seven of their last eight contests. Young netminder Jordan Binnington has been a key part to this surge, posting a robust .936 save percentage in 18 starts, and having won 11 of his last 12 starts. But on Friday, the Blues will look to their original number one goalie as Jake Allen steps between the pipes for his fourth start since January 17th.
The Blues will also welcome back Alexander Steen to the lineup after Steen was sidelined for one game with an illness earlier this week. Prominent forwards Brayden Schenn and David Perron will remain out due to injuries, but likely will return to the lineup soon.
Below is the projected lineup for the Blues:
Jaden Schwartz - Ryan O’Reilly - Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen - Tyler Bozak - Robby Fabbri
Patrick Maroon - Oskar Sundqvist - Robert Thomas
Mackenzie MacEachern - Ivan Barbashev - Zach Sanford
Joel Edmundson - Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester - Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn - Robert Bortuzzo