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Stanley Cup Final

Tarasenko expected to play for Blues in Game 6 after birth of son

Forward set to face Bruins in potential Stanley Cup clincher

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Vladimir Tarasenko is expected to be in the lineup when the St. Louis Blues host the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS, SN) after his wife gave birth to their third child Friday.

The Blues lead the best-of-7 series and with a victory would win their first championship since entering the NHL in 1967-68.

Tarasenko took a maintenance day Saturday, coach Craig Berube said, after his wife, Yana, gave birth to the couple's third son. Yana Tarasenko posted a photo to Instagram of the Blues forward holding their baby.

 

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Tarasenko has 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"It's great. Obviously, she held on until he got back, so Yana did a good job of holding on and making sure Vladimir was there," St. Louis forward Pat Maroon said with a smile.

The Blues returned home midday Friday after defeating the Boston Bruins 2-1 in Game 5 at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday.

"He's done a real good job of handling the situation and Yana's done a really good job," Maroon said. "Good communication, I guess. We're all happy for him."

The Blues will be without forward Ivan Barbashev, who was suspended for one game for an illegal check to the head of Bruins forward Marcus Johansson in Game 5. Forward Robert Thomas could return from an undisclosed injury, or forward Robby Fabbri could return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for Games 4 and 5.

Tarasenko has one goal in three games since his eight-game point streak ended.

The Tarasenkos have two older sons, Mark and Aleksandr.

"He's got to be exhausted," center Ryan O'Reilly said. "I can't imagine, for him, what it's like. But it's amazing. It's one of the greatest things in the world, to be a parent. And especially at this time going through all that, the emotions he must have are amazing. Everyone here is so happy for him."

Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo also has three children (triplets Evelyn, Theodore and Oliver).

"It's a family thing, and I've said it before, you don't get to this point without making sacrifices, especially in the playoffs," the defenseman said. "It's not just us, it's our families and friends. It takes a group effort to get to this point because we've made a lot of sacrifices. Especially when you have kids, people have to help you through this. A lot of us are grateful for people that help us at home to get us to this point."

Video: BOS@STL, Gm4: Tarasenko buries rebound from the slot

Berube said Tarasenko has done a good job balancing his growing family and the pressure of the playoffs.

"It's not easy, and he's not the only player who's gone through it," Berube said. "It's hard. Obviously, family is important and first, and you've got to make sure that's all in check. But [Tarasenko has] been great. He's been doing a great job of [focusing], and when the game time comes, he's played hard and played well."

Forward Brayden Schenn said he has no doubt Tarasenko will be ready for Game 6.

"It's exciting times for him and his wife and his family. Father of three now, so got his rest today and I'm sure he'll be ready to go," Schenn said. "We're not worried about [him] being ready to play."

Instagram from @tarasenko.yana: Our little boy ❤ welcome to the World 07.06.2019

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