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At the Rink: Lightning at Blues

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will play final game of a four-game trip Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1) and could dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

Tampa Bay (5-2-2) likely will be without center Cedric Paquette who sustained an undisclosed injury which occurred when he blocked shots against the Dallas Stars on Oct. 15, but center Brian Boyle, who has missed the past two games with an undisclosed injury, could return after taking part in the morning skate.

"[Paquette's] probably not. Boyle's maybe," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We'll look and see at game time where we'll be. ... We're hoping [Paquette] will be back in a couple days.

"We'll see how [Boyle] feels. You always want guys to be able to play. It's little nagging things that happen. We have enough healthy, so if we have to go 11-7 like we did the other night, we're OK with it."

The Blues (5-2-1) will get a boost as rookie left wing Robby Fabbri (concussion) will return after missing the past six games, and right wing Scottie Upshall will return after missing a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday because of an illness.

"I feel as good as I did before the injury," said Fabbri, who was medically cleared Monday afternoon. "That's a good sign, and I have to try and carry that into tonight. ... The biggest thing is catch up where I left off and just keep building from where I am and just keep improving every game and every day.

"I have a lot of energy, a lot of excitement. ... We're in a tough situation here (with injuries), but I feel I can fill in as best as possible."

Fabbri will play alongside Scott Gomez and Troy Brouwer.

"I think we've got to be smart here with it," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said regarding Fabbri's reinsertion into the lineup. "I think it's just more responsibility. He's looked awfully good for a week, but I think we've got to be smart. We've kept him pretty much 5-on-5. [Monday] was really the first day he's spent any time back on the power play like he did in exhibition. We've got to be just smart, get his 5-on-5 game up to speed and then kind of leak into the special teams because he was on both ends of special teams during training camp and exhibition games and then we kind of weened him off of that just to get his focus on 5-on-5."

St. Louis native Ben Bishop will start in goal for the Lightning against the team that selected him in the third round of the 2005 NHL Draft. He will oppose Jake Allen, who was Bishop's teammate with Peoria of the American Hockey League from 2010-12.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jonathan Drouin - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - J.T. Brown

Vladislav Namestnikov - Brian Boyle - Erik Condra

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr

Matthew Carle - Jason Garrison

Ben Bishop

Kristers Gudlevskis

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, Kevin Poulin

Injured: Andrei Vasilevskiy (blood clot), Cedric Paquette (undisclosed)


Alexander Steen - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin - David Backes - Scottie Upshall

Robby Fabbri - Scott Gomez - Troy Brouwer

Steve Ott - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Chris Butler, Ty Rattie

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Paul Stastny (foot), Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body), Patrik Berglund (shoulder)

Status report: If Boyle doesn't play and the Lightning go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, Nesterov will be in the lineup. ... Shattenkirk could rejoin the Blues Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks but will miss his sixth straight game Tuesday.

Who's hot: Steen has eight points in seven games (four goals, four assists). … Gomez has 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) in 50 games against the Lightning. ... Stamkos has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in eight games and Killorn has two goals, four assists in four games against the Blues.

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