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Canadiens vs Blues game thread

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It's the Habs and Blues tonight from St. Louis.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens are in St. Louis tonight hoping to keep their trumpets of victory blazing with another win over one of the NHL's best Western Conference teams. The Habs are coming into St. Louis tonight, a band of youth icing three defensemen under the age of 25. Their latest performance against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night in Montreal had certain elements of your regular old blues standard, but the Habs prevailed with a win thanks to heroics by their own "Hoochie-Coochie Man", Carey Price, who made 31 saves for the win.

Tonight's game is a contest between two teams virtually locked in to a playoff spot at 99.8% certainty for the Habs and 99.9% certainty for the Blues. With 23 games left on the schedule for the Habs have time to work on some of their discombobulated riffs, namely, issues scoring and on the other end of the ice, limiting their opponent's chances. Over the past five games in which the Habs are 3-2-1, the Canadiens have limited their opponents to an average of 38 Fenwick-For, and maintaining an average above their opponent of 42.2. The only game in which the Habs trailed in creating offense was against Columbus on Saturday when they were outplayed 39-31 on the Fenwick chart.

The Blues are coming off a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday, in which they were outplayed most of the game, giving up 55 shot attempts. Stalwart netminder Brian Elliot will be on the bench tonight in place of Jake Allen, who has been playing average this year with a .909 save percentage and 2.39 GAA. The hunch by Ken Hitchcock to play Allen may or may not be related to the Habs recent difficulties with back-up goalies, as the Habs have fallen to the likes of Andrew Hammond, Viktor Fasth and Louie Domingue in the three of the last four games they did not face their opponent's starting goalie.

The puck drops at 8:00 PM EST.

In Canada (English): Sportsnet East
In Canada (French): RDS
In the Blues Region: Fox Sports Midwest
Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter Live

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty David Desharnais Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller Tomas Plekanec Alex Galchenyuk
Brandon Prust Jacob de la Rose Dale Weise
Michael Bournival Manny Malholtra Christian Thomas
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Nathan Bealieu Tom Gilbert
Jarred Tinordi Greg Pateryn
Carey Price
Dustin Tokarski

ScratchedMike Weaver
P.A. Parenteau (concussion), Sergei Gonchar (lower-body), Alexei Emelin (upper-body)

St. Louis Blues Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
T.J. Oshie David Backes Patrick Berglund
Alexander Steen Jori Lehtera Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz Paul Stastny Dmitrij Jaskin
Steve Ott Marcel Goc Ryan Reaves
Left Defense
Right Defense
Jay Bouwmeester Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson Petteri Lindbohm
Barret Jackman Ian Cole
Jake Allen
Brian Elliot

Scratched: Chris Butler, Joakim Lindstrom
Injuries: Kevin Shattenkirk (abdominal surgery)

Check out the enemy over at St. Louis Game Time.