LOS ANGELES - This been a long time coming for Robert Bortuzzo.
The Blues defenseman, who has missed 16 games recovering from a lower-body injury, will return to the lineup for tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings (9:30 p.m., FSMW, KMOX).
"It's great. I haven't been on the road in awhile, and walking out and having breakfast with the guys again, it's exciting," Bortuzzo said. "This is a different energy from not knowing (when you can return) and not practicing. It's going to be fun."
The Blues defenseman, who was playing very well and seeing increased minutes before the injury, signed a two-year extension with the team in late December.
Video: Bortuzzo returns to lineup against Kings
"He's feeling good. He's good to go," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We're putting that third pair back in place with him and (Joel Edmundson) and hopefully we get some bone-crunching minutes from them."
Here is the rest of the projected lineup for tonight's game against the Kings:
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Nail Yakupov
Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - David Perron
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves
Alex Pietrangelo - Colton Parayko
Jay Bouwmeester - Kevin Shattenkirk
Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo