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Panthers' Jagr faces Blues approaching milestone

by Louie Korac

PANTHERS (10-9-4) at BLUES (15-6-3)


ST. LOUIS -- Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr will play against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-MW) at Scottrade Center one goal away from tying Marcel Dionne for fourth place on the NHL's all-time list with 731.

The Blues would like to keep Jagr from making history, but they're looking forward to competing against one of the game's legends.

"At least from our standpoint and in hearing stories about him, how much pride he takes in preparing himself, that's what it takes to play this late in your career and your life," Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "He's a hard worker and I think that's the most admirable thing about him. He really does still have that passion for the game. He wants to get better, even at his age, and that's seemingly hard to do, but I think that's a great example for guys like me and a lot of young guys around the League to follow."

Many Blues players including Vladimir Tarasenko, Robby Fabbri, Colton Parayko, Joel Edmundson and Magnus Paajarvi, weren't born when Jagr, 43, made his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 1990.

"Wow, that is incredible," Parayko said. "Just goes to show if you take care of your body, you can have a long career and be very successful and he's done that. It's almost like an image for players who want to play for a long time. It's pretty cool to see something like that actually pan out. When I was watching him, he was in his prime ... well he still is. It's unreal."

The Panthers will make a pair of lineup changes for their game Tuesday. Recognizing the opponent and the type of game the Panthers are expecting, coach Gerard Gallant will insert veterans Dave Bolland and Shawn Thornton, and is expected to scratch Connor Brickley and Logan Shaw.

Bolland has been a healthy scratch the past three games, and Thornton the past two and six of the past nine.

"We've had a good lineup and we've played well," Gallant said. "Tonight's a different animal. We're playing against a team that's a big, physical team. We're just going to use a little bit bigger lineup tonight. Not that it means anything. We're happy with the way our other guys played. We're just going with a different group."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brandon Pirri - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr

Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Reilly Smith

Jussi Jokinen - Vincent Trocheck - Dave Bolland

Shawn Thornton - Derek MacKenzie - Quinton Howden

Brian Campbell - Aaron Ekblad

Willie Mitchell - Erik Gudbranson

Steven Kampfer - Dylan Olsen

Roberto Luongo

Al Montoya

Injured: Dmitry Kulikov (lower body), Alex Petrovic (foot)

Scratched: Connor Brickley, Logan Shaw


Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri - David Backes - Scottie Upshall

Magnus Paajarvi - Jori Lehtera - Troy Brouwer

Steve Ott - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Patrik Berglund (shoulder)

Scratched: Scott Gomez, Dmitrij Jaskin, Robert Bortuzzo

Status report: Kulikov participated at the morning skate. Gallant said he is close to returning and likely to play in one of the Panthers' back-to-back games Thursday or Friday against the Nashville Predators or Columbus Blue Jackets. ... Upshall will face the Panthers for the first time after spending the past four seasons in Florida.

Who's hot: Shattenkirk has an eight-game point streak (two goals, eight assists). … Steen has a goal and three assists in his past two games. … Since missing a game because of injury on Oct. 31, Tarasenko has eight goals and six assists in his past 13 games. ... Jokinen has two goals and three assists in his past four games. ... Jagr has eight points (six assists) in his past nine games.

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