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Blues forward Sobotka out until after Olympics

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The news on St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka went from bad to worse Saturday after he took a spill late in a 3-1 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night.

After at first saying Sobotka would be evaluated Sunday, the Blues put Sobotka on injured reserve and said he would not be able to play for the Czech Republic at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

He will be re-evaluated in four weeks, the Blues said in a statement.

Sobotka suffered a lower-body injury when he was tripped by Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk late in the third period. Sobotka could not put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the ice,

Ryan Reaves will draw back into the Blues' lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous two games when the Blues (36-12-5) play host to the Nashville Predators (25-23-8) at Scottrade Center.

The Blues felt there was no ill will by Faulk; Sobotka was in a vulnerable position chasing the puck behind the Carolina goal with his back to the Hurricanes defenseman.

"It's hockey. It happens," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The player he went up against the boards is not that player's personality at all."

The Predators, 6-2-1 in the past nine games, recalled forward Simon Moser from the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. Moser, 24, is expected to make his NHL debut Saturday after Predators left wing Nick Spaling suffered a lower-body injury in a 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Moser had eight goals and 25 points for the Admirals this season and will represent Switzerland at the Olympics.

The Predators also placed Viktor Stalberg (upper body) on injured reserve.

Because each team played Friday night, very few players participated in morning skates on Saturday. Brian Elliott will get the start for the Blues. Devan Dubnyk was the lone goalie on the ice for Nashville and could get the start against the Blues after Carter Hutton stopped 24 shots Friday against the Devils.

Here are the projected lineups for the Predators and Blues:


Gabriel Bourque - David Legwand - Craig Smith

Patric Hornqvist - Mike Fisher - Eric Nystrom

Simon Moser - Colin Wilson - Taylor Beck

Rich Clune - Colton Sissons - Paul Gaustad

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Michael Del Zotto - Seth Jones

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Devan Dubnyk

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Victor Bartley

Injured: Pekka Rinne (hip infection), Matt Cullen (upper body), Nick Spaling (lower body), Viktor Stalberg (upper body)


Alexander Steen - David Backes - Chris Stewart

Jaden Schwartz - Derek Roy - Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi - Patrik Berglund - T.J. Oshie

Brenden Morrow - Maxim Lapierre - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ian Cole - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Jordan Leopold, Carlo Colaiacovo.

Injured: Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)

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