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Dmitrij Jaskin makes most of Game 5 call for Blues

Forward scores against Predators taking place of Alexander Steen

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When Alexander Steen knew he wouldn't be able to play for the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Nashville Predators on Friday, the forward had a chat with his replacement, Dmitrij Jaskin.

"He actually called that I'm gonna score," Jaskin said. "Yeah, before [the] game. We were kind of talking. Thanks to him."

 

[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Blues series coverage | Blues sidestep pressure, challenges to win Game 5]

 

Steen's prediction came true, and Jaskin gave the Blues not only a fresh set of legs but an important first goal in a 2-1 win that extended their season.

St. Louis trails the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at Nashville on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

Steen took part in warmups but couldn't play. He's dealing with a lower-body injury that's hampered him throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, wearing a walking boot most days, but played in the first nine games despite missing every practice.

Jaskin played for the first time since the regular-season finale, April 9 against the Colorado Avalanche. He was on a line with Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka and scored his first goal since Dec. 3 against the Winnipeg Jets, which was his only goal in 51 regular-season games.

It gave the Blues a 1-0 lead for the first time in this series.

"It's unbelievable," said Jaskin, who scored 5:43 into the second period. "What we had to do tonight, we did, and everybody's happy. We can enjoy it now for a few minutes and then forget it and get another one.

"I was hoping that [I] would (provide fresh legs). I think our line did a great job. We got some chances and I think I bring that energy a little bit."

Video: NSH@STL, Gm5: Jaskin sweeps home rebound in front

Jaskin finished with an NHL career-high eight shots on goal, one-quarter of the Blues' 32, and had four of St. Louis' 31 hits, two takeaways and two blocked shots playing 15:46.

Having already used forwards Zach Sanford and Ivan Barbashev in the playoffs, coach Mike Yeo decided to go with Jaskin (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) in a series that's become increasingly physical.

"Just the way the series has developed and get the feel for the way they're playing what to expect going into a game," Yeo said. "We felt he was a guy that ... I don't know that we thought he would be as good as he was tonight, because he was impressive. But we felt confident he would go in and play a really good game, but eight shots on goal, a big goal. I thought he was a force along the walls in both ends and a difference-maker."

Jaskin prepared himself with extra days skating by himself, or taking optional skates with few players, just like he did last season before he scored the tiebreaking goal in a 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of an even second-round series.

"It's always hard when you have to bag skate and do extra stuff," the 24-year-old said. "It's about a mindset, and if you have this trait, it's good. There's a lot of days when it's difficult, but you have to push through it. That's what you have to do."

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