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Blues activate Bouwmeester off injured reserve

Defenseman could make season debut Tuesday against Oilers

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is expected to return to the lineup for St. Louis Blues against the Edmonton Oilers at Scottrade Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNW, NHL.TV) after missing the first 21 games of the season with a fractured left ankle.

Bouwmeester was injured blocking a shot during a training camp scrimmage Sept. 17. He was activated off injured reserve Monday and was paired with Colton Parayko at practice after accompanying St. Louis on its recent three-game Western Canada trip.

"It was good to get on that road trip and skate and practice and get that stuff going," Bouwmeester said. "It's been a long time, especially at the start of the year when you miss training camp and stuff. I'm excited, and hopefully just jump in and not interfere with what's going on here."

The Blues (15-5-1) lead the Western Conference with 31 points. 

Video: CBJ@STL: Bouwmeester's slap shot puts Blues on board

St. Louis coach Mike Yeo was more cautious about Bouwmeester's return.

"Obviously, if he's able to go tomorrow, we'll see how he is in the morning, but right now, it's looking that way," Yeo said. "He can do a lot for us. A veteran guy, skating ability, defensive game. I don't expect him to step in and his game to be exactly where it's going to be 5-10 games from now."

Bouwmeester, who is expected to replace defenseman Carl Gunnarsson in the lineup, has 391 points (82 goals, 309 assists) in 1,071 NHL games with the Blues, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames.

"He plays both ends of the ice, and he's a guy that eats a lot minutes too," defenseman Alex Pietrangelo told the Blues website. "We've been doing well on the back end, but when you bring a guy with that kind of experience, it sends a calming influence throughout the lineup. He can really control the game and I'm looking forward to having him back."

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