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At the Rink: Blues at Flyers

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo's first game with the St. Louis Blues will come in a familiar place.

Bortuzzo, acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, will play Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, a building he knows well from his four seasons with the Penguins.

"This building is obviously fun to play in," Bortuzzo told the Blues website Thursday. "I had a couple good battles in here. It's exciting."

Bortuzzo said he his style of play doesn't change with his new team.

"I want to be hard to play against," he said. "Get pucks in and out of our zone as quick as possible. Obviously we have a very talented forward group up there so obviously I need to get pucks in their hands."

Bortuzzo is the only one of the three players acquired Monday that will play for the Blues Thursday. Coach Ken Hitchcock said center Olli Jokinen likely will play Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team the Blues acquired him from. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who came over in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes, is out because of an upper-body injury.

Flyers coach Craig Berube opted to cancel the Flyers' morning skate in part because of the snow storm that hit the Philadelphia region, saying he was going to make it optional anyway.

The Flyers will have one lineup change, with Zac Rinaldo playing right wing on the fourth line in place of Vincent Lecavalier.

"He's a physical payer, we all know that," Berube said of Rinaldo. "He's a very good skater. I want a guy that can get on top of their defense, bang bodies tonight and put pressure on them."

This will be the first time the Flyers and Blues have played since April 1, 2014, when the Blues won 1-0 in a shootout. Berube said the biggest difference from the Blues of last season and the team he'll see Thursday is its offensive ability. They Blues are fifth in the League in scoring at 3.00 goals per game, up from their 2.92 goals per game last season.

"I think this year more than last year, they're still big and physical and now they score," Berube said. "It'll be a tough game; they're a very good team."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin - Paul Stastny - Patrik Berglund

Steve Ott - Marcel Goc - Ryan Reaves

Carl Gunnarsson - Alex Pietrangelo

Petteri Lindbohm - Jay Bouwmeester

Barret Jackman - Robert Bortuzzo

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Scratched: Chris Butler, Chris Porter, Olli Jokinen

Injured: Kevin Shattenkirk (abdomen), Zbynek Michalek (upper body)


Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek

R.J. Umberger - Brayden Schenn - Ryan White

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Zac Rinaldo

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit

Michael Del Zotto - Luke Schenn

Carlo Colaiacovo - Andrew MacDonald

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Vincent Lecavalier

Injured: Radko Gudas (knee), Nicklas Grossmann (upper body)

Status report: Shattenkirk, who has been out since Feb. 1 because of an abdominal injury, is traveling with the team, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but it's because the doctor who surgically repaired his injury is based in Philadelphia. ... Rinaldo likely will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games. Lecavalier, who has gone 21 games without a goal, would be scratched for the fifth time in seven games.

Who's hot: Stastny has one goal and three assists during his three-game point streak. ... Giroux has two goals and three points in his past five games after he had no goals and four assists in his previous 11 games.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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