Another wave of injuries has Blues scrambling to fill lineup spots

News-DemocratApril 12, 2014 

Already staring at a season-long four-game losing streak and with top forwards T.J. Oshie, David Backes and Vladimir Tarasenko already ailing, the Blues were hit with another injury wave Friday.

Prior to playing in Dallas on Friday, the Blues said Vladimir Sobotka, Brenden Morrow and Derek Roy also would miss the game with various injuries.

That's six forwards out of the lineup for a team still fighting for the Western Conference and Central Division lead with two games remaining.

The Blues have 111 points, which tied them for second in the Western Conference going into Friday night with Central Division leader Colorado (which holds the tie-breaker over the Blues) and four points ahead of Chicago and San Jose.

Anaheim has the top spot in the West with 112 points.

Oshie was injured in Thursday's 4-2 loss at Minnesota on a blindsided hit to the head by the Wild's Mike Rupp. Rupp, who had been a healthy scratch for the last 23 games and had played in only 13 games all season, was suspended four games by the NHL for the hit.

Oshie was dazed and bleeding from the mouth when he left the ice. The Blues ruled him out for Friday's game, but have not commented on whether the injury is concussion-related.

Winger Ty Rattie, the Blues' top scorer at minor-league Chicago this season, was recalled Friday and made his NHL debut against Dallas. Also recalled from the Chicago Wolves were forwards Keith Aucoin and Adam Cracknell.

Rattie (6-foot, 167 pounds), the Blues' second-round pick (32nd overall) in 2011, has 29 goals and 46 points in 69 games in the AHL this season.

In his final two seasons of junior hockey with Portland of the Western Hockey League, Rattie piled up 105 goals and 231 points in 131 games.

Aucoin has 11 goals and 40 points in 60 games with the Wolves and Cracknell has 12 goals and 25 points in 28 games.

The Blues close out the regular season with an 11:30 a.m. game Sunday at home against Detroit. They are expected to open the playoffs Thursday or Friday.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or follow him on Twitter: @NormSanders

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