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Blackhawks visit stingy Blues

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St. Louis has allowed only two goals during its four-game winning streak.

Chicago Blackhawks v St Louis Blues Photo by Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks will play their first game after trading defenseman Erik Gustafsson and goaltender Robin Lehner when they visit the Western Conference-leading Blues on Tuesday in St. Louis.

Chicago (27-27-8) decided to continue their rebuild by sending Gustafsson to the Flames for a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft and Lehner to the Golden Knights for goaltender Malcolm Subban, defenseman prospect Slava Demin and a 2020 second-round pick. The moves signal the Blackhawks wanted to acquire assets for pending unrestricted free agents before their value depreciated.

The Blackhawks, who trail Calgary and Arizona by eight points for a wild card spot in the Western Conference with 20 regular-season games remaining, will likely miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for a third straight season. It would be the first time since 2005-08 that has happened for Chicago, which has lost three of its past four games and is 3-7-2 since a five-game winning streak.

Dominik Kubalik scored a power-play goal and Corey Crawford made 31 saves in Chicago’s 2-1 loss to the Stars on Sunday afternoon. Crawford, who has played well in February with a 2.26 goals-against average and .934 save percentage, is expected to start in St. Louis.

Defenseman Lucas Carlsson had a strong NHL debut in Dallas with one shot attempt, one blocked shot and three hits in 14:55 while playing on the second pairing with Connor Murphy. Carlsson looked comfortable and confident both carrying the puck and maintaining a gap control while in his own zone. Even though he played well, Nick Seeler will draw back into the lineup for Carlsson after being a healthy scratch Sunday.

Patrick Kane extended his point streak to five games with an assist on Kubalik’s goal. Kane has eight points (two goals, six assists) during his point streak. Duncan Keith also had an assist on the play to give him four assists in his past three games.

The Blues (36-17-10) have won four straight games and are the top team in the West by three points ahead of the Avalanche. St. Louis has tighten up its defensive play during its winning streak by only allowing two goals.

Jordan Binnington made 32 saves and Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist in St. Louis’ 4-1 win against the Wild on Sunday. Binnington has made 63 saves on 64 shots in his past three starts, and is slated to be in net against Chicago.

David Perron continues to lead the Blues in goals (24) and points (57), while Ryan O’Reilly is close behind him with 54 points (11 goals, 43 assists). Brayden Schenn (21) and Jaden Schwartz (20) have both reached the 20-goal mark this season.

Series history

Chicago is 0-2-0 this season against St. Louis with a 4-0 loss Dec. 2 in Chicago and a 4-3 loss Dec. 14 in St. Louis. Jake Allen made 38 saves in the Blues’ shutout win. In the second game, the Blackhawks blew a 3-0 lead in the third period. St. Louis has earned points in nine of its past 11 games against the Blackhawks. Brandon Saad (two goals) and Jonathan Toews (two assists) pace the Blackhawks against the Blues.

Tale of the tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Blues

48.3% (24th) — Corsi For — 50.4% (15th)

46.4% (29th) — Expected goals for — 50.1% (17th)

2.89 (14th) — Goals per game — 3.16 (T-13th)

3.11 (21st) — Goals against per game — 2.71 (7th)

49.7% (T-17th) — Faceoffs — 51.4% (6th)

14.2% (31st) — Power play — 23.5% (6th)

82.1% (9th) — Penalty kill — 80.6% (15th)

Projected lineups

Blackhawks

Kubalik — Toews — Caggiula

Saad — Carpenter — Kane

DeBrincat — Dach — Strome

Highmore — Kampf — Nylander

Keith — Koekkoek

Seeler — Murphy

Maatta — Boqvist

Crawford

Subban

Blues

Schwartz — O’Reilly — Schenn

Sanford — Thomas — Perron

Steen — Bozak — Kyrou

Barbashev — Sundqvist — Blais

Gunnarsson — Pietrangelo

Scandella — Parayko

Dunn — Faulk

Binnington

Allen

How to watch

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Enterprise Center, St. Louis

TV: NBC Sports Network

Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV