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At the Rink blog

Blues forward Roy back in lineup

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:44 PM

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

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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."

The Wild (37-25-11), who lost 5-2 at home to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, have won three times in the past 11 games (3-4-4) as they continue to hang onto one of two Western Conference wild-card spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was a limited optional skate Thursday for Minnesota. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is slated to start against the Blues after he allowed three goals on 12 shots Wednesday. He was first off the ice following the morning skate. Kuemper is 1-4-2 in his past seven games after winning five straight starts.

The projected lineups for the Wild and the Blues:

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Matt Moulson - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Cody McCormick

Dany Heatley - Erik Haula - Nino Niederreiter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Nate Prosser

Marco Scandella - Jonathon Blum

Darcy Kuemper

Ilya Bryzgalov

Scratched: Mike Rupp, Justin Fontaine, Stephane Veilleux

Injured: Jason Zucker (quad), Keith Ballard (groin), Clayton Stoner (knee), Josh Harding (illness), Niklas Backstrom (abdomen)

BLUES

Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Sobotka - Jaden Schwartz

Brenden Morrow - Derek Roy - Steve Ott

Magnus Paajarvi - Maxim Lapierre - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Roman Polak

Carlo Colaiacovo - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan Miller

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Chris Porter, Dmitrij Jaskin, Jordan Leopold, Ian Cole

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (thumb)

Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp