ISLANDERS (4-2-1) at BLUES (5-2-0)
TV: MSG+ 2, FS-MW
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have experimented with second-round pick Ty Rattie in the past. Selected 32nd in the 2011 NHL Draft, Rattie will get his first extensive and more prominent look at the NHL level starting Saturday against the New York Islanders.
Rattie, who was recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League after the Blues announced Saturday that left wing Jaden Schwartz will be sidelined at least the next 12 weeks with a fractured left ankle, will play on a line with veteran Scott Gomez and Dmitrij Jaskin when the Blues host the Islanders.
The Blues are already without Paul Stastny (broken right foot), Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body), Robby Fabbri (concussion) and Patrik Berglund (shoulder).
"It obviously (stinks) with injuries; two very good players [Schwartz and Stastny], but it's an opportunity for me to come up and prove that I can play and prove that I can stay here full time," Rattie said. "I'm excited for the opportunity and now I've got to take full advantage of it."
Rattie led Chicago in goals (four) and points (seven) through three games. He has two assists in 13 NHL games, but is expected to remain in St. Louis for at least the next four-to-five weeks. Stastny's original time-frame will be re-evaluated in five weeks.
"One game at a time," Rattie said. "I think I've got to prove that I can play tonight and go from there. That's my mindset, take it one day at a time and try to prove that I can be here a long time and prove that I can hopefully help out with what they're missing now."
Coach Ken Hitchcock said that players like Rattie and Jaskin, in their third and fourth years of playing professional hockey, are ones expected to absorb the minutes Schwartz provided.
"They're both offensive players, they're both guys that are really good offensive players," Hitchcock said of Rattie and Jaskin. "We now need to put them in that role, where they were in junior (hockey), and help them along and see if they can succeed at the elements in their game that they were great at in junior. If they were first-year players, you'd be nervous.
"It's a little bit different with [Robby] Fabbri. There's still a test period that we're going to go through next week with Fabbri to see how he looks and where he fits, but these are guys that are third-year pros and it's their opportunity. I think we're just scratching the surface of what we're capable of offensively. I think there's another gear we can play at with more people involved in the offensive part of the game, but the guys that are missing now are guys that are great 200-foot players, so that's going to be the element that we have to decide over the weekend how we're going to balance this out."
The Islanders skated reserves and injured players Saturday. They did not take part in a full morning skate after losing 5-3 on home ice against the Boston Bruins on Friday that ended a four-game winning streak.
Here are the projected lineups:
Anders Lee - John Tavares - Ryan Strome
Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Nikolay Kulemin - Mikhail Grabovski - Brock Nelson
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey - Marek Zidlicky
Injured: Steve Bernier (lower body), Eric Boulton (lower body)
Scratched: Ryan Pulock, Brian Strait, Jean-Francois Berube
Alexander Steen - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Scottie Upshall - David Backes - Troy Brouwer
Dmitrij Jaskin - Scott Gomez - Ty Rattie
Steve Ott - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo
Injured: Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Paul Stastny (foot), Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body), Robby Fabbri (concussion)
Scratched: Chris Butler
Status report: Halak played Friday and is not expected to get the start. ... Shattenkirk and Fabbri skated and both are expected to return to the Blues' lineup Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Who's hot: Steen has two goals, four assists and Tarasenko has three goals, one assist in three games against the Islanders. … Tavares has a five-game point streak (three goals, six assists). … Okposo has two goals and six assists in nine games against the Blues.