Blues host Sharks hoping to make it two wins in a row
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues seem to finally be gaining some positive momentum this season, but they may be without one of their biggest offensive pieces as they host the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
Center Brayden Schenn (upper-body injury) seems likely to miss his second straight game. Schenn, who left Saturday's contest against the Minnesota Wild, did not play in the Blues' 4-1 win over Carolina on Tuesday. He did some light work in practice Thursday but was nowhere near full go.
"A little bit (of work), but obviously, he wasn't involved in everything, so again, question mark for (Friday)," Blues coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com.
Forward Pat Maroon will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season.
Maroon, a St. Louis native, signed a one-year, $1.75 million free agent contract with the Blues in the offseason. He has seven assists in the first 13 games, but is struggling to score.
"I think it's been very frustrating for him, which is understandable," Yeo told NHL.com. "First off, you know how important it is for him to put that jersey on, what that means to him and how he wants to contribute. Secondly, he's betting on himself this year. We know how important that is. It's tough. We've seen a lot of good things despite him not scoring, his forechecking, his puck presence in the offensive zone, his physicality, his power-play (contributions), all these things.
"I think some things can start to get in your head and obviously, confidence starts to play a part in that. I think maybe a little reset here can help him out."
Forward Nikita Soshnikov will replace Maroon in the lineup and will make his Blues debut. He will play on a line with Tyler Bozak and Alexander Steen.
Soshnikov and Bozak were teammates in Toronto.
"He's been working hard and this will be a good chance for him," Yeo told NHL.com. "He's playing with a guy in Bozie that he's familiar with, two guys that are responsible. I don't expect perfection without the puck for Sosh; that's not what I'm looking for. What I'm looking for is his speed to be a difference-maker. He's got two smart players who can read off of him. For me, the way I should see it is his speed should impact the game all over the ice. Hopefully, we can see that (Friday)."
The Blues won once in three meetings against the Sharks last season.
San Jose will be playing its second game in as many days after losing 4-3 at Dallas on Thursday night. The Sharks' two-game winning streak was snapped.
Defenseman Brent Burns recorded two assists, including career No. 400, and forward Evander Kane tied the game 3-3 in the third period for the Sharks before center Devin Shore got the game-winner, his second goal of the night, at 14:13 of the third for the Stars.
Sharks defenseman Joe Thornton played in his 1,500th career game. He is the 19th player in league history to reach that milestone.
"He does things that people don't even know or see to be able to play," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told the San Jose Mercury News about Thornton. "If he ever shared his actual routine with everybody, people would not believe it. But you don't put that much work in if you don't truly, truly love it. This is a really special person."