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[Lou Countryman photo]

The St. Louis Blues will open their 82-game regular-season schedule on the road on Oct. 16 with a first-round playoff rematch against the Colorado Avalanche. That season-opening contest will kick off a three-game season opening-road trip for the Blues. 

The club will return to St. Louis for the 2021-22 home opener on Oct. 23 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Last season, the Blues finished 27-20-9, fourth in Honda West Division. The team lost in the first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Colorado Avalanche. The contest marked the Blues’ 44th appearance in the postseason and their eighth appearance in the last nine seasons. St. Louis has missed out on the playoffs just nine times in the 53 seasons since the team’s inception in 1967-68.

This year’s projected lineup includes old favorites and Stanley Cup champs alongside a handful of young newcomers, including forward Klim Kostin, forward Dakota Joshua and defenseman Scott Perunovich. 

Kostin, 22, was the No. 31 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, had one assist in two games for the Blues last season and scored 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 43 games with Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League. He scored one goal in four games with the Blues in 2019-20.

Joshua, 25, made his NHL debut last season and scored one goal in 12 games. He also scored three points (two goals, one assist) in six games with Utica of the American Hockey League.

Perunovich, 22, played three seasons at the University of Minnesota Duluth and won the Hobey Baker Award voted as the top men’s player in NCAA ice hockey in 2020. He did not play last season after having shoulder surgery but is expected to be healthy for this season.

As for the lines themselves, here’s a look at how things are likely to shake out: 

No. 1 line: Brandon Saad , Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron

No. 2 line: Pavel Buchnevich, Brayden Schenn, Vladimir Tarasenko

No. 3 line: Klim Kostin, Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou

No. 4 line: Zach Sanford, Ivan Barbashev, Oskar Sundqvist

No. 1 defensive pair: Torey Krug, Colton Parayko

No. 2 defensive pair: Marco Scandella, Justin Faulk

No. 3 defensive pair: Niko Mikkola, Robert Bortuzzo

No. 1 goaltender: Jordan Binnington

Backup goaltender: Ville Husso