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Blues' Backes, Fabbri remain questionable for Game 5

St. Louis forwards will take pregame warmup against San Jose

by Louie Korac / Correspondent


Western Conference Final

Best-of-7 series is tied 2-2

TV: 8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues forwards David Backes and Robby Fabbri are questionable for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

Coach Ken Hitchcock said both players will skate during the pregame warmup.

"We're going to dress the same lineup for warmup that we did the last game," he said. "We had two extra forwards in there, one extra [defenseman]. No changes. All those players are there. They'll dress for warmup and then we'll run a further evaluation for warmup. The same 23 guys are dressing."

Backes and Fabbri sustained undisclosed injuries during the Blues' 6-3 victory in Game 4 on Saturday.

Backes left the game with 5:14 left in the first period. He came out for the second and third periods but never left the bench. Fabbri played two shifts totaling 52 seconds in the third period after playing 8:29 in the first two periods.

Injuries are nothing new for the Blues, who dealt with a plethora of them throughout the season.

"We know where we stand in the dressing room already," Blues right wing Troy Brouwer said. "[The media] can speculate until game time.

"We've had injuries, guys come in and out of the lineup throughout the season. It's shown a lot about a lot of different players in here. To see something extra out of the guys that you thought they might not have had. We've had a lot of guys step in to fill key roles at times. If something is out of place tonight then we have all the confidence in the world in the guys that can step in."

The Sharks have had a penchant for bouncing back after losses throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They won Games 4 and 5 in the first round against the Los Angeles Kings after losing in overtime Game 3. In the second round against the Nashville Predators they lost Game 4 and Game 6 in overtime and came back to win the next game each time.

"It's an opportunity for us individually and as a team to go out and play the way we expect ourselves to play," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "... We're going to need to be better and I'm sure they're going to want to bring the same game they had in Game 4. It's up to us to match it and be better than them."

Here are the projected lineups:


Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joonas Donskoi

Melker Karlsson - Chris Tierney - Joel Ward

Dainius Zubrus - Nick Spaling - Tommy Wingels

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Paul Martin - Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak

Martin Jones

James Reimer

Injured: Matt Nieto (upper body)

Scratched: Matt Tennyson, Dylan DeMelo, Micheal Haley


Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Troy Brouwer

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - David Backes

Magnus Paajarvi - Kyle Brodziak - Dmitrij Jaskin

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Injured: Scottie Upshall (undisclosed)

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Ryan Reaves, Steve Ott, Petteri Lindbohm, Chris Butler, Peter Harrold, Ty Rattie, Anders Nilsson

Status report: If Backes and/or Fabbri cannot play, expect one or both of Reaves and Ott to replace them in the lineup. ... Upshall came into the locker room well after the majority of the lineup regulars and likely will miss a third straight game. ... Nieto did not skate with the regulars at the morning skate and is expected to miss his sixth straight game. He hasn't played since Game 6 of the second round.

Who's hot: Pavelski has two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak. ... Hertl has three goals in the series. ... Brouwer and Brodziak each scored two goals in Game 4, their first points of the series.  

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