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Second Round

Fabbri feeling healthy, hopes to keep producing for Blues in Game 2

Injury-plagued forward scored first goal of Game 1 against Stars

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The road to health has been a long and at times arduous journey for Robby Fabbri.

But the St. Louis Blues forward is looking for more good times against the Dallas Stars in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round at Enterprise Center on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).

Fabbri scored the Blues' first goal in their 3-2 win in Game 1 on the best-of-7 series Thursday.

 

[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Stars series coverage]

 

It was his first goal since Nov. 23, a span of 25 games, including three games against the Winnipeg Jets in the first round.

"I'm not going to sugarcoat it," Fabbri said. "It's been a tough few years and a tough year this year. That's all washed away with where we are right now, and things are all coming together."

Selected by the Blues with the No. 21 pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, Fabbri had 37 points (18 goals, 19 assists) in 72 regular-season games as a rookie in 2015-16, and then tied Vladimir Tarasenko for the St. Louis lead with 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But injuries have limited him to 83 games since then. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Feb. 4, 2017, then tore the ligament again during training camp and missed the entire 2017-18 season.

"Many times through those two years, being back in Toronto, not being around the guys," Fabbri said. "With my family working with (trainer) Matt Nichol and hearing from the guys every once in a while, I knew I wanted to get back to this. This is when I'm most happy. I worked hard to get here."

Fabbri was out the first 10 games of this season because of a lower-body injury, and then missed 11 games because of a separated shoulder sustained Dec. 1.

Video: DAL@STL, Gm1: Fabbri goes five-hole with wrist shot

He was in and out of the lineup when he returned Dec. 31, playing 17 of the final 46 games, and then was scratched for the first three games of the first round of the playoffs.

He replaced Zach Sanford for Game 4 and is hoping to show enough to stay in the lineup as long as he can.

"You can't change the past," Fabbri said. "It's the way I've thought through this whole thing is just take the opportunities I get and try to run with it. Right now I'm just trying to build game by game."

Fabbri's quickness has been evident and was on display on his goal Thursday. He took a stretch pass from Ivan Barbashev, burst into the Dallas zone and beat goalie Ben Bishop with a shot between his pads for a 1-0 lead at 5:57 of the first period.

"I'm really excited for [Fabbri]," Tarasenko said. "It's been a tough time for him and that goal was huge, huge for our team. He had a lot of emotions and got the team up. It's good for him.

"... Everybody was (happy for Fabbri). When everybody goes through some tough times, just try to be happy for a guy, so we're really happy for him. It was really an emotional moment."

Coach Craig Berube has liked what he's seen from Fabbri in his limited playoff time.

"We're all real happy for him, to see him playing in the playoffs like this," Berube said. "Seeing him competing, and he's got great jump out there, and he gets rewarded with a goal. He could've had a couple goals the other night (Game 6 against Winnipeg), but he's resilient, staying with it, he's done a great job getting back in and doing a good job and playing well."

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