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Old 10-11-2018, 12:43 PM
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Preview: Flames at Blues
Gracenote
Oct 10, 2018

The Calgary Flames and their red-hot first line consisting of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm visit the struggling St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The trio has combined for eight goals and 16 points in three games, including three goals and three assists in Tuesday's 3-0 victory at Nashville, as the acquisition of Lindholm in a blockbuster trade with the Carolina Hurricanes during the offseason appears to be working out.

“When you play the minutes that we play and get the opportunities on special teams that we get and stuff like that, it’s our job to produce,” Monahan told reporters. “And if you’re not producing, obviously you’re going to not get that playing time. So I think you put that pressure on yourself to be those guys. Right now, we’re putting the puck in the net so we have to continue to build on that.” St. Louis is coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to Chicago on Saturday and has started the season with two losses for the first time since 2006-07. The Blues have allowed 10 goals in two games with No. 1 goaltender Jake Allen stopping 45 of 55 shots. "We start playing. That's it, right now," Blues coach Mike Yeo told reporters. "Let's quit playing shinny hockey and let's start playing real hockey. It's correctable. It's just a matter of us figuring out how long we want it to take before we decide if we want to be a good team or be a team that plays the game without purpose and as far as doing the little things and things it takes to win hockey games."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Flames, FS Midwest (St. Louis)

ABOUT THE FLAMES (2-1-0): Monahan tied Daymond Langkow's club record of four goals in a season's first three games set in the 2007-08 campaign. Gaudreau has a goal and six assists while Lindholm, who averaged 13.8 goals in his last four seasons with Carolina, has three and one. Mike Smith (2-1-0) recorded his 37th career shutout Tuesday after allowing eight goals on 42 shots in his first two games.

ABOUT THE BLUES (0-1-1): Newly acquired center Ryan O'Reilly leads the team in points with four - all assists - while Vladimir Tarasenko, who averaged 34 goals in his first five full seasons, has a club-most two. Defenseman Joel Edmundson (minus-1, 20:44 average ice time in 2017-18) missed the first two games with a groin injury but is expected to make his season debut Thursday. Coach Mike Yeo also said "there's a very real possibility" that defenseman Jakub Jerabek, who was acquired from Edmonton on Oct. 1 and joined the team Monday after getting his visa in Canada, could play Thursday.

OVERTIME

1. Lindholm has a minus-2 rating while Gaudreau and Monahan are even.

2. O'Reilly has won 33 of 45 faceoffs this season with his 73.3 percent success rate tops among regulars in the circle.

3. Calgary won the season series 2-1 in each of the last two years with the home team winning all three meetings in 2017-18 and the road club prevailing in all three 2016-17 encounters.

PREDICTION: Blues 3, Flames 2
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