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At the Rink: Flames at Blues

by Louie Korac / NHL.com

ST. LOUIS -- Ty Rattie grew up in Airdrie, Alberta, which is a 30-minute drive north of Calgary. The St. Louis Blues right wing was a big Calgary Flames fan growing up.

Rattie, recalled by the Blues following lower-body injuries to Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko, will be in the lineup when the Blues (46-23-7) face the Flames (42-28-7) in a key Western Conference matchup (8 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-MW). It will be the first time Rattie will face his favorite childhood team in his NHL career. He's played in seven NHL games the past two seasons.

The Blues, who have a chance to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with either a point Thursday or a Los Angeles Kings regulation loss to the Edmonton Oilers, will insert Rattie into a third-line role with veteran Olli Jokinen and Jori Lehtera.

"It was obviously a little bit of a surprise, but you're excited nonetheless," said Rattie, who has one assist in five games this season. "I'm ready to go and I'm looking forward to it. I feel good.

"It's going to be a lot of fun. When I grew up, it was all about the Flames. I watched every single game, me and my family. To get to play them tonight is going to be a lot of fun and it'll be a special memory."

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock did not waste any time putting Rattie into the lineup to try and help the Blues avoid a third straight loss. They're 1-3-2 in their past six games.

"He didn't get better when he first went down [in early February]," Hitchcock said of Rattie. "He got down on himself a little bit, he got down on the situation. He played really well when he was up here. We were really happy with him. He went down and there was the bounce down a little bit that we expected, and here in the last two or three weeks, he's been white-hot. He's been playing hard, he's been scoring; he's been setting up people. He's been playing with great tempo in his game.

"With players that are missing, he's got a similar attribute and we're really looking forward to taking a hard look at him here. This for him couldn't happen at a better time because he gets to play in a situation he's comfortable in. He gets some good pros and good veterans who are accountable, so he's not coming in with a bunch of kids and playing a fourth line role. He's going to get up there and running right away, so we're looking forward to it."

In the absence of Tarasenko, who leads the Blues in goals (35) and points (71), and Steen, who leads the Blues with 38 assists and is second in points with 62, Hitchcock has assembled a top line of Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny and T.J. Oshie.

"I'm part curious and really excited to see how this looks because it was dynamic yesterday at practice," Hitchcock said. "It was different than anything we've done, but it was packed with energy so we'll see. We're going to have to play a few games like this. It's not a big deal, but it's going to give other guys a chance."

The Flames, who are in the fourth of a five-game road trip, have won two in a row and are three points ahead of the Kings for third place in the Pacific Division.

"We're playing well right now and we know what's at stake," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "... I really like the composure that we're showing. The guys on the ice are having fun, we're meeting them one by one. I don't feel any tension. We're on the job; we understand the situation, but at the same time, we're having fun with it. That's what our game's about. We've worked all year to be in this situation. Let's take advantage of it."

Here are the projected lineups:

FLAMES

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Lance Bouma - Mikael Backlund - David Jones

Mason Raymond - Markus Granlund - Joe Colborne

Brandon Bollig - Matt Stajan - Drew Shore

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Deryk Engelland - TJ Brodie

Raphael Diaz - David Schlemko

Jonas Hiller

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Michael Ferland, Josh Jooris, Corey Potter

Injured: Mark Giordano (biceps), Paul Byron (lower body), Ladislav Smid (upper body)

BLUES

Jaden Schwartz - Paul Stastny - T.J. Oshie

Dmitrij Jaskin - David Backes - Patrik Berglund

Ty Rattie - Jori Lehtera - Olli Jokinen

Steve Ott - Marcel Goc - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Kevin Shattenkirk - Zbynek Michalek

Barret Jackman - Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Carl Gunnarsson, Chris Porter, Chris Butler

Injured: Alexander Steen (lower body), Vladimir Tarasenko (lower body)

Status report: Rattie replaces Porter in the Blues lineup. Bortuzzo, a healthy scratch the past two games, will replace Gunnarsson. ... Bollig replaces Ferland, and Hartley said he wants to keep everyone fresh and part of the team at this time of the season. Hartley said Byron should skate in Edmonton. "It's an injury where there's pain to it," Hartley said. "It's constant pain. We just have to monitor it."

Who's hot: Hudler has five points the past two games and 11 points in his past seven games. Gaudreau and Monahan each have seven points in their past seven games. Bouma has six points in his past five games. ... Stastny has 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) in 42 games against Calgary. Pietrangelo has six assists his past eight games.

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