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Polak to play for Blues, Lapierre to IR

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues' revolving injured-reserve door took a couple more turns Tuesday.

Defenseman Roman Polak, who's missed 10 games with a fractured left ankle sustained Dec. 19 against the Montreal Canadiens, will return to the lineup when the Blues host the slumping Phoenix Coyotes.

"I feel pretty good out there," Polak said. "I had a good practice, good back-skating with the coaches. [Monday] was my second full practice with the team and I felt pretty good."

With Polak coming off injured reserve, center Maxim Lapierre was placed on IR retroactive to Friday with a lower-body injury sustained late in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Blues recalled forward Dmitrij Jaskin from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League to take Lapierre's spot on the roster.

Vladimir Sobotka missed the morning skate Tuesday with the flu but was expected to play. If he doesn't, Hitchcock said Jaskin, who has one goal in four games with the Blues this season, would be inserted into the lineup.

"He's off IR, ready to go," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Polak. "He'll play [Tuesday]. [Lapierre] goes on IR. He's going to miss the next couple games. [Sobotka] missed, he's got the flu. We left him at home and hopefully he's ready to go."

Blues left wing Alexander Steen, who skated Monday, did not take part in the morning skate, but as he said Monday that didn't necessarily mean he had sustained a setback in his recovery from a concussion.

The Coyotes, who dropped their third in a row and fifth in six games Monday in a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, had a very limited optional skate Tuesday. Included in the group was defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who's missed 12 games with a hip injury.

Center Mike Ribeiro, who departed the game Monday with a lower-body injury, is questionable for Tuesday. He was not part of the morning skate, a group that consisted of defenseman David Rundblad, right wing Paul Bissonnette and backup goalie Thomas Greiss. It was unknown if Greiss or Mike Smith, who stopped 33 shots Monday, would get the start.

Here are the projected lineups for the Coyotes and Blues:


Shane Doan - Mike Ribeiro - Mikkel Boedker

Lauri Korpikoski - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Rob Klinkhammer - Antoine Vermette - David Moss

Kyle Chipchura - Jeff Halpern - Paul Bissonnette

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - David Schlemko

Rostislav Klesla - Michael Stone

Thomas Greiss

Mike Smith

Scratched: David Rundblad, Tim Kennedy, Jordan Szwarz

Injured: Zbynek Michalek (hip)


Jaden Schwartz - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Sobotka - Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi - Derek Roy - Chris Stewart

Brenden Morrow - Adam Cracknell - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ian Cole - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Jordan Leopold, Carlo Colaiacovo, Dmitrij Jaskin

Injured: Alexander Steen (concussion), Maxim Lapierre (lower body)

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