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Preview: Blues at Avalanche, Game 23

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Alex Steen and the red-hot Blues (17-3-3) take their four-game winning streak to the Pepsi Center to face Erik Johnson and the Avs (17-5-0)

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

I've come down with an awful stomach virus (of course this had to happen before Thanksgiving, the day of stuffing your stomach till it explodes) so for my own sanity I'm keeping tonight's preview simple.

These two teams faced each other for the first time as new division foes on Nov. 14, a game in which St. Louis thrashed Colorado 7-3 thanks to four assists from T.J. Oshie and two goals from none other than Alex Steen. If starting a game on time is important, then rolling into the 2nd period is just as much so: Last time, the opening frame was almost entirely even, with solid defense and goaltending on both sides. It was only until the 2nd period when the Avs completely collapsed.

Avs have won three in a row. Blues have won four. Something's gotta give.

Here are your projected starting lineups:

BAD GUYS

Alex Steen David Backes T.J. Oshie
Patrik Berglund Derek Roy Chris Stewart
Jaden Schwartz Vladimir Sobotka Vladimir Tarasenko
Brenden Morrow Maxim Lapierre Magnus Paajarvi
Alex Pietrangelo Jay Bouwmeester
Carlo Colaiacovo Barret Jackman
Ian Cole Roman Polak
(Starter) Jaroslav Halak (2.21 GAA, .911 SV%)
(Backup) Brian Elliott (1.79 GAA, .932 SV%)

Out: Kevin Shattenkirk (flu), Ryan Reaves (hand), Jordan Leopold (hand)

GOOD GUYS

Gabe Landeskog Nathan MacKinnon Ryan O'Reilly
Jamie McGinn Paul Stastny P.A. Parenteau
Cody McLeod John Mitchell Max Talbot
Patrick Bordeleau Marc-Andre Cliche Brad Malone
Jan Hejda Erik Johnson
Cory Sarich Andre Benoit
Tyson Barrie Nate Guenin
(Starter) Semyon Varlamov (2.09 GAA, .934 SV%)
(Backup) J.S. Giguere (1.73 GAA, .947 SV%)

Out: Matt Duchene (oblique), Alex Tanguay (knee), Ryan Wilson (back)

Check out St. Louis Game Time for more coverage.

Puck drops 7:00pm MT / 9:00pm ET
TV: ALT2, FS-MW