Skip to main content

Headlines

Lehtera returns as Blues host Coyotes

by Louie Korac / NHL.com

COYOTES (20-27-7) at BLUES (34-15-4)

TV: FS-A, FS-MW

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues will get center Jori Lehtera back in the lineup when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.

Lehtera, who has nine goals and 30 points in 46 games, sustained a concussion Jan. 29 against the Nashville Predators and missed six games.

"There were a couple really bad days and then it became a little better," Lehtera said. "It went better every day. That was good for my mind.

"Probably like three [good days]. Yeah, I feel I'm ready to go. I can't lay in bed anymore. So excited to play today."

Lehtera will play between Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, and Paul Stastny will center a line with Dmitrij Jaskin and Patrik Berglund.

"It's a big add," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Lehtera. "It gives us three lines that can do a lot of damage, three lines built three different ways. One's a rush-attack line, one's a cycle line and one's kind of a funnel line. One's a line that just fires it off the net and finds it and then hunts it down again and does a great job keeping possession, and then we've got Stastny's line that's great on the cycle, great at puck protection. Three different dynamics but three lines that can score regardless."

This is Lehtera's first concussion in the NHL but second of his career. He sustained one while playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League for Sibir Novosibirsk.

"What I had in Russia was a pretty good one," Lehtera said. "I felt like there's a chance [this one] can be better than the one in Russia."

The Coyotes did not hold a morning skate after a 3-2 shootout victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Here are the projected lineups:

COYOTES

Tobias Rieder - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Martin Erat - Alexandre Bolduc - Sam Gagner

Lauri Korpikoski - Kyle Chipchura - David Moss

Lucas Lessio - Brendan Shinnimin - Brandon McMillan

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Keith Yandle - Michael Stone

Andrew Campbell - Connor Murphy

Mike Smith

Mike McKenna

Scratched: B.J. Crombeen, Chris Summers

Injured: Mikkel Boedker (spleen), Martin Hanzal (upper body), Joe Vitale (upper body)

BLUES

Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin - Paul Stastny - Patrik Berglund

Steve Ott - Marcel Goc - Ryan Reaves

Chris Butler - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Jay Bouwmeester

Barret Jackman - Ian Cole

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Joakim Lindstrom

Injured: Kevin Shattenkirk (abdomen), Chris Porter (ankle)

Status report: Hitchcock will split up the Blues' top defensive pairing of Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo, citing other teams have done it with success recently. With Shattenkirk out for the foreseeable future, the Blues are looking for a fit for Gunnarsson. The left-handed Bouwmeester will move to the right side and play alongside Gunnarsson, and Butler moves up to play with Pietrangelo. ... Despite making 36 saves and going through a shootout victory Monday, Smith is expected to play in goal Tuesday rather than McKenna, a St. Louis native. ... With Lehtera's return to the lineup, the Blues reassigned right wing Ty Rattie to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League on Monday.

Who's hot: Backes and Schwartz have combined for nine goals in two games against the Coyotes this season. Backes, who has five, scored four in the last game, a 6-0 Blues victory Jan. 6. ...Yandle has nine assists during his seven-game point streak, and has a point in 11 of his past 12 games.

View More