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Blues’ subtle changes emphasize need for speed

Dwight King, B.J. Crombeen

Los Angeles Kings’ Dwight King, left, and St. Louis Blues’ B.J. Crombeen fight during the first period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Monday, April 30, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Unlike with star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in Game 3, the St. Louis Blues aren’t looking to undergo dramatic lineup changes as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 tomorrow. Still, head coach Ken Hitchcock told Jeremy Rutherford that there’s been a common theme: a need for speed.

Forward Ryan Reaves will replace B.J. Crombeen on the fourth line, and defenseman Ian Cole will step in for Carlo Colaiacovo.

“More size, more speed,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We keep pulling speed into the lineup and it works. (Matt) D’Agostini was good. Obviously (Chris) Stewart was good. So Reaves brings more speed, more size, we’re trying to get a little bit better.”’

Improved speed and size alone likely won’t turn this dire series around for the Blues. They’ll need better play from an anemic power play and a seemingly rattled Brian Elliott in net if they want to extend the series and give themselves any hope of an unlikely comeback against the red-hot Kings.