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At the Rink: Devils at Blues

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny will not play Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils (8 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, FS-MW) because of an upper-body injury.

Stastny was hit with a deflected puck on his left cheek in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks last Friday. He participated in the morning skate Tuesday wearing a full face cage, which he will continue to do at least through the all-star break.

Stastny, who has three goals and 18 points in 28 games this season, was considered day-to-day until coach Ken Hitchcock called him week-to-week Tuesday.

"Every day's gotten a little better," Stastny said. "Still like a little foggy, just little things in my head here and there. I'm not going to risk anything until my head's cleared up. If everything goes well, practice [Wednesday], play Thursday but it's one of those things we'll take it day by day.

"It felt good [Tuesday]. There's a couple times when I got the heart rate up, you start feeling a little headache and you start feeling a little foggy. The last thing I want to do is be playing out here at full speed and not be able to make decisions like I normally can and hurt myself and more importantly, hurt the team."

Hitchcock erred on the side of caution regarding Stastny being ready Thursday.

"I think we've got to wait on that," Hitchcock said. "It was hurting a little bit today, so we'll see. Rather than all of these 'day to day to day to day,' I'm going to wear you guys out and add an extra column in the newspaper to just keep dealing with this. I would rather let [general manager Doug Armstrong] deal with this when he gets back, some of the term on some of these guys, and just back it off until they come back. We'll see where [Stastny] is at. Hopefully he is playing Thursday, but I'd rather pull him back. He didn't feel great after the skate."

Along with Stastny, goalie Jake Allen (lower body) and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (upper body) were injured Friday. Then the Blues lost defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (upper body) and left wing Magnus Paajarvi (upper body) on Saturday at the Los Angeles Kings.

The Devils, who are also dealing with a slew of injuries, won't have forward Michael Cammalleri (upper body), who leads them in assists (21) and points (35). Cammalleri will miss his sixth game Tuesday and won't play Thursday at the Colorado Avalanche, but could join the Devils there and begin skating.

Coach John Hynes said the Devils could know more about Cammalleri's availability after the game Tuesday.

Goalie Keith Kinkaid will start for the Devils. Kinkaid is 3-4-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .905 save percentage and will play for the first time since Dec. 29, a 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I'm not going to say it's easy, but it's my job," Kinkaid said. "I know what I signed up for. I want to be part of the team. Whenever they need me, that's when I want to play my best. You get most of your time on the practice side. You've got to work on things, stay mentally sharp and you can't get frustrated because that'll creep into your game once you do get in. You just stay positive, be a team guy and help out when needed."

Here are the projected lineups:


Sergey Kalinin - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri

Joseph Blandisi - Adam Henrique - Lee Stempniak

Tyler Kennedy - Jim O'Brien - Paul Thompson

Bobby Farnham - Stephen Gionta - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Jon Merrill - Damon Severson

Marc-Andre Gragnani - David Schlemko

Keith Kinkaid

Cory Schneider

Injured: Patrik Elias (knee), Jacob Josefson (lower body), Michael Cammalleri (upper body), Tuomo Ruutu (lower body), Jiri Tlusty (upper body), John Moore (lower body)

Scratched: Stefan Matteau, Eric Gelinas


Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Scottie Upshall - Alexander Steen - Troy Brouwer

Patrik Berglund - David Backes - Ty Rattie

Dmitrij Jaskin - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Kevin Shattenkirk - Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson - Colton Parayko

Chris Butler - Robert Bortuzzo

Brian Elliott

Jordan Binnington

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Steve Ott (hamstring), Paul Stastny (upper body), Jay Bouwmeester (upper body), Jake Allen (lower body), Carl Gunnarsson (upper body), Magnus Paajarvi (upper body)

Scratched: None

Status report: Rattie and Butler, recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League under emergency conditions Monday, will step right into the lineup. ... Moore skated Tuesday and could play against the Avalanche on Thursday. … Aside from Kinkaid, the Devils will use the same lineup from their 2-1 win at the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

Who's hot: Tarasenko has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games. Pietrangelo has a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists). ... Henrique has two goals and two assists in his past five games.

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