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Islanders @ Blues: Last trip outside the East [Game #71]

Two teams on the back end of a back-to-back.

Tonight’s an excuse to break out your Leddy jersey.

The New York Islanders are in St. Louis to conclude a tough time zone-hopping trip that included a loss in Dallas and a last-minute win in Raleigh last night.

A 1-1 record against playoff-bound teams isn’t bad, and tonight offers the chance for bonus points. The Blues also played last night, but they were at home, pulling out a third-period comeback and OT win against their rivals for home-ice advantage, the Minnesota Wild.

For some remarkably stupid reason, Casey Cizikas is suspended and will not be in the lineup tonight. Barry Trotz said Kieffer Bellows will be in the lineup, but we’ll see who slides over at center, because:

Semyon Varlamov should get the start since Ilya Sorokin was in last night.

The Blues are missing the injured Torey Krug and will presumably start Jordan Binnington, who’s struggled miserably this season and has fans casting mournful eyes at his multi-year $6 million commitment while creasemate Ville Husso is headed toward free agency.

And of course, the Blues now have Nick Leddy, who played such an important puck-moving and pressure-release role for the Islanders during their postseason runs. Leddy was acquired by the Blues at the deadline for the same purpose, and filling a similar hole that he left on Long Island. So far he’s delivered as advertised, a more affordable acquisition when the bigger LD names either weren’t traded or went for a ransom the Blues could not pay.