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At the Rink blog

Grachev, Porter draw in for Blues

Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 5:22 PM

By Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Grachev, Porter draw in for Blues
The head injury first-line center Andy McDonald suffered Thursday against Dallas has forced Blues coach Davis Payne to juggle his lineup for tonight's game against the Sharks. McDonald returned to St. Louis on Friday to be examined by team doctors, and the Blues won't have an update on his situation until Monday.

His absence means Evgeny Grachev and Chris Porter, healthy scratches in the Blues' first three games, likely will skate together on the fourth line, with center Scott Nichol.

Grachev, acquired from the New York Rangers over the summer, said he's "excited" to play his first game as a Blue and is confident after a strong preseason.

"I feel comfortable after playing all those game," Grachev said. "I feel comfortable with the group that's here. Nothing outside of me can prevent me from doing my best. It's all up to me. I'm real comfortable with everything here, and I'm confident in my abilities. I've just got to work hard and see what happens."

Payne declined to reveal how he would juggle his lines in the wake of McDonald's injury.

"With Andy's situation, obviously somebody's going to draw into that spot," Payne said. "We'll look at a number of different options tonight."

One option would be to move left wing T.J. Oshie from the second line to McDonald's spot on the first line, then shift Vladimir Sobotka from the fourth line to Oshie's spot.
Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3