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Backes Returns Tonight vs. Colorado

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - David Backes will be back in the lineup tonight after missing one game with a concussion.

Backes sustained the injury after being hit by Stars defenseman Trevor Daley in the first period on Oct. 28 in Dallas. Backes took some time to get to his feet and skated off to the locker room. He didn’t return to the game.

But yesterday, he was back on the ice for practice and felt good again after today’s morning skate.

“Backes will play, but don’t go to the bank on the rest of the lineup,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Some guys that skated today felt good, some guys didn’t feel great. We’ll just take it through the day.”

The Blues are still dealing with a bacteria infection that has affected many players on the roster over the last few weeks.

On the injury front, the Blues will not have T.J. Oshie (concussion) or Paul Stastny (upper-body) available tonight.

SIZING UP COLORADO

The Avalanche are coming off a 5-0 win against the New York Islanders on Thursday, a game in which they got two goals from Nathan MacKinnon and 40 saves from Semyon Varlamov for his 14th career shutout.

Colorado (3-4-4) sits in sixth place in the Central Division, just one point behind the Blues (5-3-1), who have two games in hand.

“I think for us, No. 1, is don’t allow them to play on the move,” Hitchcock said after the morning skate. “They’re one of the best teams in the West on being able to play on the move. We’ve got to get them stopped. We’ve got to get them playing in their end more than they want to. If we can do that, we give ourselves a chance to beat them every night.”

The Blues are 4-1-0 in their last five games against the Avalanche and have points in nine of their last 12 meetings (7-3-2).

HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER

Yesterday, defenseman Barret Jackman walked up to the whiteboard in the Blues locker room and wrote “We Fight For…” followed by “Dawson,” the name of a child he became close to after meeting him at the Dream Night with the Blues charity event. Dawson lost his battle with cancer several years ago.

Throughout the morning, other players began adding names to the list, eventually filling the board with names of friends and family who have died or been affected by the disease. Click here to watch the video.

John Kelly lost his father, Dan Kelly, to the disease. Alex Pietrangelo’s five-year-old niece, Ellie, is undergoing chemotherapy, Ian Cole’s grandma and soon-to-be mother-in-law have fought it (and won), Kevin Shattenkirk’s former coach is currently battling it…the list goes on and on.

“I think everyone unfortunately has been affected by it or had someone in their lives who has had to deal with (cancer),” Shattenkirk said. “Win or lose, it’s always an inspirational battle. Anything we can do to give back and show our support, it’s amazing.”

For several weeks, every player has worn a Hockey Fights Cancer sticker on the back of their helmets, and that will continue tonight. The Blues are raising money for St. Louis area cancer research organizations at the game through a special silent auction outside Section 119 and through sales of Hockey Fights Cancer T-shirts and lapel pins on the concourse.

For more information on tonight’s events, including a special ticket offer where $5 of your ticket price will benefit cancer research, visit stlouisblues.com/hfc.

BLUE NOTES

Tonight will be Brian Elliott’s 100th game in a Blues uniform.

Backes has six goals and five assists in his last 10 games vs. Colorado.

Alexander Steen has three goals in his last three against the Avalanche.

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