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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 2:52 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blues' Backes not ruled out for Game 3

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- If Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks was Sunday, one thing is certain: Blues captain David Backes would not be playing in it.

Backes, who was injured on a hit by Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook with 4:51 remaining in the third period, did not take the ice Sunday at the Blues' training facility inside the Ice Zone at St. Louis Outlet Mall for an optional skate.

"All I know is he's upright and that's about it right now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We don't have any further information and probably won't have until late [Monday]."

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.18.2014 / 5:58 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Oshie more likely than Berglund for Blues in Game 2

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The lingering question hanging over the St. Louis Blues since they ended the regular season Sunday is, how can they recapture the winning ways that led to a franchise-best 52 victories?

Even with several injuries and their scoring down nearly a goal-and-a-half the final 41 games, six straight losses to end the regular season was something that needed to be overcome quickly with the Chicago Blackhawks the opponent in the Western Conference First Round.

The Blues' 4-3 triple-overtime win in Game 1 of the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series was a subtle reminder that St. Louis hasn't forgotten how to win. The Blues knew reinforcements were on the way; as veteran left wing Brenden Morrow calmly said, "The cavalry's coming."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:52 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Tarasenko in, Oshie out for Blues in series opener

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has maintained that the lineup for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-N, ALT) is fluid.

After the morning skate Thursday, there is a clearer picture of who will be in the lineup to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who's missed 15 games after a hand injury sustained against the Nashville Predators on March 15, is in. Tarasenko, who originally was projected to be re-evaluated in six weeks following surgery March 19, will play with Vladimir Sobotka and Jaden Schwartz.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 3:47 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blues getting healthy, but lineup still in state of flux

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The St. Louis Blues went through a full practice Wednesday at their training facility inside the St. Louis Mills Outlet Mall in preparation for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The vibes after the team's first full practice since the regular season ended were positive in regards to the multiple injuries key players are dealing with, but leave it to coach Ken Hitchcock to keep everyone in suspense despite the majority of the team skating together for the first time in at least a week or more.

Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks is Thursday at Scottrade Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-N, ALT).

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 3:46 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blues get some injured players back at practice

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The St. Louis Blues ended the regular season missing eight regulars from their lineup. When they open the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks, veteran forward Brenden Morrow, one of those injured, declared, "The cavalry's coming."

Morrow (foot), along with forwards David Backes (foot), T.J. Oshie (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body) and Patrik Berglund (upper body), and defensemen Barret Jackman (undisclosed) and Alex Pietrangelo (undisclosed) missed the season finale against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Some have missed multiple games.

The Blues finished the regular season losing six straight, and scored two goals or fewer in nine straight and 10 of 12.

All the injured players returned to the ice except Backes, Berglund and Sobotka for an optional skate Tuesday in preparation for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at Scottrade Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, CSN-CH, FS-MW). Morrow may have been the biggest surprise.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 12:35 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues, Red Wings sit key names in season finale

ST. LOUIS -- When the St. Louis Blues host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday [12:30 p.m. ET, NBC], each team will be without key regular players.

The Red Wings (38-28-15), who will face the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, are playing without forwards Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson, and defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Niklas Kronwall. Goalie Jimmy Howard, who was expected to start, will give way for Petr Mrazek. All are being given the day off.

The wounded Blues (52-22-7), who can still clinch the Central Division title, are without forwards David Backes (foot), Brenden Morrow (foot), T.J. Oshie (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body), Patrik Berglund (upper body) and Vladimir Tarasenko (thumb), and defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (undisclosed) and Barret Jackman (undisclosed).

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 3:12 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Steen returns to lineup vs. Capitals

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues will have forward Alexander Steen back in the lineup Tuesday against the Washington Capitals (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

Steen had missed the past three games with an upper-body injury. He leads the Blues with 33 goals and is tied with T.J. Oshie for the scoring lead with 60 points.

"He'll play," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Steen. "He's good to go. … If he's not healthy, he's not playing. He wasn't healthy the last few games, so he wasn't ready to go.

"This was the player's call and the trainer's call. When they leaned over the boards and said, 'I'm good to go,' I think it's my obligation considering he's had an unbelievable year and he's been our best player most nights. I'd be smart to put him in, so I'm pretty smart and putting him in."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 3:45 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Steen, Jackman out; McCabe debuts for Sabres

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres will each be dealing with new lineups Thursday when they face each other at Scottrade Center.

The Blues, already without forward Vladimir Tarasenko (thumb), will be missing forward Alexander Steen and defenseman Barret Jackman. Each has been ruled out for the game and are listed as day-to-day, according to coach Ken Hitchcock.

"Steen is upper-body, Jackman's lower-body," Hitchcock said. "We'll see whether they're going to play on the weekend or not right now."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.01.2014 / 2:14 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers defenseman Gustafsson eager to rejoin lineup

ST. LOUIS -- Erik Gustafsson had to dust the cobwebs off his equipment Tuesday morning. The Philadelphia Flyers defenseman hasn't been in the lineup for more than a month.

Because of an upper-body injury to defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who took a puck off the face and will miss the game Tuesday against the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues (50-17-7), Gustafsson will be inserted into the Flyers' lineup (39-27-8) for the first time since Feb. 27.

Gustafsson, who has two goals and 10 points in 27 games, is anxious to play rather than feeling bad about not being part of the mix in recent weeks.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:44 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues forward Roy back in lineup

ST. LOUIS -- Forward Derek Roy will be back in the lineup for the St. Louis Blues when they play the Minnesota Wild at Scottrade Center on Thursday.

Roy, who missed the previous two games with a lower-body injury, will center a line with Brenden Morrow on the left and Steve Ott on the right.

The Blues (49-16-7) enter play Thursday one point ahead of the Boston Bruins in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

"The line that we're playing together [Thursday] with Roy on it has played three times together before [Thursday], and all three games they've played really well together," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "It's three veteran guys that know how to read off each other. Obviously Ott takes a lot of the faceoffs and ends up down low in our zone.

"I want to see [the line] play consistently well before we evaluate whether we're going to stay with it or not. I'm not 100-percent sure yet. They've shown flashes where they play really well together and then for whatever reason, mostly through injuries or whatever, it's mostly gotten broken up or we've needed help somewhere else."

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory