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Preview: Blues at Blue Jackets

Robby Fabbri returns for St. Louis after being healthy scratch; Columbus looks for spark from Brandon Dubinsky

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

BLUES (7-5-3) at BLUE JACKETS (6-4-2)

(7 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-MW, NHL.TV)


Blues team scope

St. Louis Blues second-year forward Robby Fabbri, who was a healthy scratch on Thursday against the Nashville Predators, will return to the lineup Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. "It's a good feeling to be given the opportunity," Fabbri said. "Now it's my job to go out there and be make sure they made the right decision." He'll be inserted on a line with center Jori Lehtera and right wing Vladimir Tarasenko. "The chemistry we've got in some twosomes is good," coach Ken Hitchcock said Saturday. "Just like Columbus is, we're working hard to incorporate some young players into the mix here." Hitchcock said he wants to see more from Fabbri, who has a goal and three assists in 14 games after having 37 points (18 goals, 19 assists) last season. "When you're going to play up the lineup like he is, you're going to need to be a good player," Hitchcock said. "He needs to be thinking like, 'I'm a go-to guy so I've got to play like a go-to guy.' " Forward Ryan Reaves will come out of the lineup.


Blue Jackets team scope

Forward Brandon Dubinsky might provide the spark needed for the Blue Jackets to rebound from a 5-2 loss at the Boston Bruins on Thursday. He missed that game and a 3-2 overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday with a lower-body injury. Coach John Tortorella was not happy with either game, and thinks the return of Dubinsky can make a difference. "I missed him on the bench, I'll tell you right now," Tortorella said. "I don't think our compete was there through a lot of minutes. [Dubinsky] is always going to drag people into the fight and push them along, not so much by words but the way he plays." After finishing last season with 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists), Dubinsky has two assists in 10 games this season. "I've been around long enough to know you go through these types of situations where you're not scoring," Dubinsky said. "Frustration's something that tends to creep in sometimes but it just works against you. Once the puck goes in once or twice, hopefully it pours on. You just need something to go in. You need a bounce, or your linemates to put one in for you."


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Patrik Berglund -- Alexander Steen

Robby Fabbri -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

David Perron -- Paul Stastny -- Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Dmitrij Jaskin  

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Petteri Lindbohm -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Ryan Reaves

Injured: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), Joel Edmundson (upper body)


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Matt Calvert -- William Karlsson -- Josh Anderson

Scott Hartnell -- Lukas Sedlak -- Sam Gagner

Zach Werenski -- David Savard

Ryan Murray -- Jack Johnson

Markus Nutivaara -- Dalton Prout

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Scott Harrington

Injured: David Clarkson (back), Seth Jones (foot)


Status report

Steen is one goal shy of 200 in his NHL career. … Harrington has not played this season.


Who's hot

Tarasenko has points in four consecutive games and leads the Blues with 13 points (five goals, eight assists). Schwartz has two goals and an assist in three games. … Foligno has four goals and four assists in the past six games. Wennberg is tied with Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers for the NHL lead in assists with 13.

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