A rough season for St. Louis Blues players claimed another victim Sunday when star forward Alexander Steen was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.
The Blues said Steen, injured during the first period of Saturday’s 6-4 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, will be reevaluated in four weeks. Steen fell awkwardly after being hit by Phoenix defenseman Kevin Connauton.
On the positive side, Blues goaltender Jake Allen has been activated to the roster off of injured reserve after being out since Jan. 8 with a lower-body injury. Allen had missed 17 games during his injury, leading to a career-high 17 consecutive starts by Blues goaltender Brian Elliott.
Steen ranks second on the Blues in scoring with 17 goals and 47 points in 61 games. His loss will be felt in many ways since his average ice time of 20 minutes, 31 seconds is the highest of any Blues forward.
The Blues have six players who have missed 10 games or more this season because of injuries. Star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is currently out with a knee injury and has missed six games.
Despite all the injuries, the Blues (35-17-9, 79 points) began Sunday only two points behind Western Conference leader Chicago and one back of second-place Dallas. The Blues have the fourth-highest point total of any NHL team.
The Blues recently welcomed forward Jaden Schwartz back from an ankle injury and he has five points in five games since his return. Schwartz missed 49 games after suffering a left ankle fracture on Oct. 23.
Steen had a goal and assist Saturday in the Blues’ win over Phoenix. The Blues return to action Monday at home against the San Jose Sharks.
Allen is 18-10-3 this season with a 2.17 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. He also has five shutouts.
Both Allen and Elliott (17-7-6, 2.06 goals-against, .931 save percentage) have played in 33 games.
Elliott, who leads the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage, is 7-1-1 in nine games this month with a sparkling 1.65 goals-against average and .943 save percentage. Before Saturday’s win over the Coyotes, he had allowed only one goal in each of his previous three starts.