Blues (26-15-2) at Flyers (17-15-8)
WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center.
BROADCAST & STREAMING: NBCSP, NBCSports.com/live, 97.5 FM
KEY PLAYERS: The Blues, winners of three straight, will try to avenge an early-season loss.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for St. Louis center Brayden Schenn, the former Flyer who is having an outstanding season (17 goals, 42 points, plus-21).
Winger Jaden Schwartz (14 goals, 35 points), a productive winger on Schenn’s line, will miss another game with an unspecified injury. Former Flyer Scottie Upshall (six goals) will take his place.
Vladimir Tarasenko (17 goals, 39 points) is also on that line.
The Blues have allowed two goals or fewer in five of their last six games, and Carter Hutton — who was once briefly with the Flyers — has started three straight games and gone 3-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in the span.
Flyers goalie Brian Elliott (15-10-7), who spent five seasons with the Blues and holds the franchise record with 25 shutouts, is expected to make his 16th straight start. He has a 2.73 GAA and .910 save percentage.
Jake Voracek leads the NHL with 40 assists, and Claude Giroux is third with 35. They are also tied for sixth in the league with 48 points.
Sean Couturier (19), Wayne Simmonds (13), and Giroux (13) are the Flyers’ double-digit goals scorers. Ivan Provorov, who had two goals and an assist in the Flyers’ 6-4 win over the Islanders on Thursday, anchors the defense.
THINGS TO KNOW: Besides Schenn, Blues associate head coach Craig Berube is also returning to the Wells Fargo Center. He compiled a 75-58-28 record as the Flyers’ head coach from 2013-15…..Both teams are playing the opener in back-to-back games. On Sunday afternoon, the Blues play in Washington, and the Flyers host Buffalo….Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was tied for third among NHL defensemen with 30 points entering Friday. H e was also tied for third with eight goals…St. Louis is 8-2 against Metropolitan teams this season….The Blue have had six streaks with at least three consecutive victories….St. Louis is 20-3-1 when scoring first this season.
HEAD TO HEAD: The Flyers lead the overall series, 88-42-17-3. In the teams’ Nov. 2 meeting in St. Louis, Michal Neuvirth made 33 saves as the Flyers defeated the Blues, 2-0. Brandon Manning and Giroux (empty-netter) scored for the Flyers, who used four first-year defensemen, including Will O’Neill. With a win Saturday, the Flyers would sweep the season series (minimum of two games) for just the fourth time since 1995-96.
COMING FLYERS GAMES:
Sunday: 1 p.m. vs. Buffalo.
Jan. 13: 7 p.m. at New Jersey.
Jan. 16: 7 p.m. at New York Rangers.