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Blues add Bortuzzo because of his attack mentality

Stars could have Eaves back in lineup for Game 6

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

Game 6: STARS at BLUES

Western Conference Second Round

St. Louis leads best-of-7 series 3-2

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

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues will make one change to the lineup and the Dallas Stars could make one for Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Scottrade Center on Monday.

The Blues will insert defenseman Robert Bortuzzo into the lineup for the first time in the series, replacing Joel Edmundson.

Bortuzzo will be paired with Kevin Shattenkirk, moving the right-shot Shattenkirk to the left side.

"One's a defending player and one's an attacking player," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Our feeling is we need more attacking right now. [Bortuzzo] is a guy that jumps up on the play, really attacks. He plays on his toes and he's good at joining the rush and making plays from the red line in. [Edmundson] is more of a defending player, stay-at-home kind of guy."

The Blues, who lead the best-of-7 series 3-2, have a chance to advance to the conference final for the first time since 2001. They want to counterattack the Stars' ability to skate and believe Bortuzzo, who hasn't played since Game 6 of the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks, gives them that element.

"Yeah, it's exciting," Bortuzzo said. "We're always preparing like we want to play every night and are doing the same things. It's nice to come into our building for a first game back. It's exciting and looking forward to it.

"Throughout the year we've kind of played with everyone as a [defense] core. Everyone's kind of familiar with each other and that comfort factor is definitely there. [Shattenkirk] is a world-class player and I'm sure he's going to make it easy on myself."

The Stars, who finished with the most points in the Western Conference in the regular season, could get right wing Patrick Eaves back in the lineup.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Eaves will be a game-time decision. He practiced on the fourth line during the morning skate Monday. He hasn't played since Game 1 against the Blues, when he was hit in the leg by a shot from teammate Stephen Johns.

"Better than yesterday," Eaves said when asked how he felt. "I just got off the ice. Got through the morning skate, which was fine. We'll see how it reacts. It's kind of wait and see. Still have decisions to be made.

"[Skating's] improving, which is a good sign. A lot of things are out of my control when it comes down to it. I have to talk to the trainers and see what it does this afternoon."

Here are the projected lineups:

STARS

Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Patrick Sharp

Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Valeri Nichushkin

Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Ales Hemsky

Colton Sceviour - Vernon Fiddler - Patrick Eaves

Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg

Johnny Oduya - Stephen Johns

Kris Russell - Jason Demers

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Injured: Tyler Seguin (lower body)

Scratched: Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, Jordie Benn, Brett Ritchie, Curtis McKenzie, Travis Moen

BLUES

Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri - Paul Stastny - Troy Brouwer

Patrik Berglund - Alexander Steen - David Backes

Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Dmitrij Jaskin

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Kevin Shattenkirk - Robert Bortuzzo

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Injured: None

Scratched: Joel Edmundson, Ryan Reaves, Magnus Paajarvi, Steve Ott, Petteri Lindbohm, Chris Butler, Peter Harrold, Ty Rattie, Anders Nilsson

Status report: Roussel and Ritchie were alternating during the morning skate as third-line left wings, so that could be a possible lineup change for the Stars. … Sceviour is expected to replace Moen. ... Seguin (lower body) did not make the trip. ... Jaskin will remain in the lineup for the Blues.

Who's hot: Jamie Benn and Eakin each have one goal and three assists in the series. … Spezza has a three-game assist streak. … Stastny has two goals and two assists during a three-game point streak. … Fabbri has one goal and four assists in the past four games.

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