ST. PAUL, MN - The Blues won't have injured players Paul Stastny (lower-body), Robert Bortuzzo (undisclosed), or Nail Yakupov (undisclosed) in the lineup for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight in Minnesota.
Each player sustained an injury in the final weeks of the regular season and won't be ready for Game 1.
Regarding Stastny, Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said he was "day-to-day" on Tuesday. Bortuzzo did join the team for the game day skate Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center, a sure sign that he's getting closer to returning.
The injuries mean rookie Ivan Barbashev will remain in the first-line center spot between Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko on the top line, a spot Yeo says he's earned. Alexander Steen, who once occupied the top center position, will shift to the wing alongside Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Sobotka.
Here is the projected lineup for Game 1 vs. Minnesota:
Jaden Schwartz - Ivan Barbashev - Vladimir Tarasenko
Magnus Paajarvi - Patrik Berglund - David Perron
Vladimir Sobotka - Jori Lehtera - Alexander Steen
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson - Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson - Jordan Schmaltz