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Stanley Cup Final

Barbashev to return for Blues in Game 7 of Cup Final following suspension

Forward will be in lineup against Bruins, says 'everyone's going to be ready'

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Ivan Barbashev will return to the lineup for the St. Louis Blues when they play the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The forward was suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety for Game 6, which the Blues lost 5-1 on Sunday, for an illegal check to the head of Bruins forward Marcus Johansson in Game 5.

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blues Stanley Cup Final series coverage]

"Everyone's going to be ready," Barbashev said after practice Tuesday. "This is the last game of the season, and you've just got to give everything you've got. Game 7, there's nothing better than that. If you lose it, it hurts. If you win, it's even better feeling."

Barbashev, who has six points (three goals, three assists) in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games, will play in his usual spot on the fourth line with center Oskar Sundqvist and Alexander Steen.

"Being a fourth line and playing big minutes, it's a huge part, it's a big role, especially when you play against the top players," Barbashev said. "It's huge. I'm really glad I got that opportunity because I want to get better. I want to get better at hockey, and so far it's been good. It's been a big learning process for me.

Video: Barbashev suspended one game for an illegal check

Forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Tyler Bozak and Robert Thomas each missed practice Tuesday but will be available to play in Game 7. 

"They're all players," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "They're fine."

Tarasenko and Bozak each has not missed a game in the playoffs. Thomas played 9:21 on 14 shifts and had no shot attempts in Game 6 after missing Games 2-5 with an undisclosed injury.

"No, we'll decide [if Thomas plays] tomorrow," Berube said.

With the Blues looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in their history, Berube said he still has lineup decisions to make.

"It is the toughest part of the job for sure because everyone wants to play," he said. "It's always difficult to tell somebody that they are not playing."


Listen: Game 7 preview from NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

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