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Blues forward Tarasenko to miss game against Wild

by Louie Korac

WILD (7-2-1) at BLUES (7-2-1)


ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko will not play Saturday against the Minnesota Wild.

Tarasenko sustained a left leg injury in a 2-1 victory Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks with four minutes remaining following a check by the Ducks' Shawn Horcoff. Tarasenko missed the remainder of the period but returned in the third.

Tarasenko, who leads the Blues in goals (six) and points (10) was in street clothes during the morning skate Saturday. He indicated that he was fine after the game Thursday but missed an optional skate on Friday.

"No, he's not going to play tonight," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "... We weren't sure later in the day [Friday] on Vladi, but we still held out hope that he was going to play."

Hitchcock didn't seem concerned that Tarasenko, who had a knee-to-knee collision with Horcoff after the Ducks center tried to check him, would be out for a prolonged period of time.

"He's out for the month of October," Hitchcock said. "... When November turns, we'll let you know on that one."

Troy Brouwer, who was acquired in the off-season from the Washington Capitals, skated on the Blues' top line Saturday morning with Alexander Steen and Jori Lehtera.

"Don't go on what you saw today because it's going to move around," Hitchcock said. "The whole right side's going to move around the whole game. Brouwer is going to come out with [David] Backes sometimes, he's going to come out with Lehtera sometimes. We're going to punch [Ty] Rattie up there sometimes.

"I would say the only thing that would be consistent, we'll start the game with [Dmitrij] Jaskin on the right side with [Scott] Gomez. That's the only constant on that right side right now."

Defenseman Colton Parayko, who left the game Thursday in the third period with a lower-body injury, skated Saturday and will be in the lineup.

Parayko, who is tied with Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes for most goals among NHL defensemen with four, did not practice Friday and was seen in a walking boot on his left leg.

"It was good to get out there and get my feet under me for tonight," Parayko said. "It was just a little scare. I was skating the puck out and my foot kind of got caught. ... Everything came out great, so I'm ready to go.

"I think I might have clipped someone else's skate, just kind of jammed almost, but it was all good."

The Wild did not skate after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Friday. After Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves against Chicago, Darcy Kuemper likely will be in net. He will be opposed by Jake Allen.

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Nino Niederreiter

Thomas Vanek - Charlie Coyle - Jordan Schroeder

Chris Porter - Erik Haula - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Matt Dumba

Marco Scandella - Nate Prosser

Darcy Kuemper

Devan Dubnyk

Injured: Justin Fontaine (knee), Tyler Graovac (groin)

Scratched: Christian Folin, Niklas Backstrom


Alexander Steen - Jori Lehtera - Troy Brouwer

Steve Ott - David Backes - Scottie Upshall

Robby Fabbri - Scott Gomez - Dmitrij Jaskin

Ryan Reaves - Kyle Brodziak - Ty Rattie

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

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

Scratched: Chris Butler

Status report: The Wild recalled Schroeder from Iowa of the American Hockey League under emergency conditions to replace Fontaine, who Wild coach Mike Yeo said is week-to-week following a knee injury sustained after a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins on Friday. ... Hitchcock said Shattenkirk is still days away from returning.

Who's hot: Parayko has two goals and two assists in the past three games. Allen has allowed one goal on 49 shots the past two games. ... Koivu has 27 points (20 assists) in 37 games against St. Louis; Suter has 26 points (26 assists) in 54 games against the Blues; Parise has 10 goals in 17 games against St. Louis.

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