Steen Returns, Blues Welcome National Hero

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 12:46 PM
Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues

Alexander Steen will play tonight when the Blues host the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center (NBCSN, Y98 FM).

Steen missed three games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. He returned to practice on Monday and skated with the team again today.

“He’ll play, he’s good to go,” Ken Hitchcock said. “This is the player’s call and the trainer’s call. When they leaned over the boards and said ‘I’m good to go,’ I think it’s my obligation (to put him in) considering he’s had an unbelievable year and he’s been our best player most nights.”

For a team looking for more offense, Steen is returning at the right time. This season, he has 33 goals and 27 assists (60 points). In this last four appearances, he has three goals.

The Blues will be facing a Washington Capitals team that is 4-3-3 in their last 10 games is coming off a 4-3 win on the road against the New York Islanders. The Capitals find themselves four points behind Columbus for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with four games to play.

Meanwhile, the Blues sit four points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche in the Central Division and one point ahead of the Anaheim Ducks for the top spot in the Western Conference. With a win tonight, the Blues would tie the Bruins for the League-lead with 113 points.

A HERO’S VISIT

Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, who was an honored guest of President Barack Obama at the State of the Union address in January, will attend tonight’s game and drop the ceremonial first puck.

Sgt. Remsburg, who is from St. Louis, was injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on his 10th deployment. He was in a coma for three months and is recovering. He is partially paralyzed and brain-damaged.

Sgt. Remsburg watched today’s morning skate and visited the locker room, where he met the team.

“His sacrifices for our freedom, for allowing us to do what we do, does not go unnoticed,” Blues captain David Backes said. “We lose two big games on the weekend and think we’re having a tough go and are down in the dumps, then we see everything he has put on the line for us.”

To learn more about Sgt. Remsburg to see him during President Obama’s State of the Union address, click here.

BLUE NOTES

The Blues have won eight of their last nine home games against the Capitals dating back to 1997. Tonight is the first time the Capitals have been to Scottrade Center since Dec. 1, 2010.

Ryan Miller will start and is 15-11-0 in his career against Washington. He is coming off back-to-back shootout wins against the Capitals, stopping 77 of 79 shots in the victories. The first one on Dec. 29, Miller stopped 49 of 50 Capitals' shots.

T.J. Oshie has two goals and an assist in three career games against the Capitals.

Jaroslav Halak won’t play tonight in his first return to St. Louis. He’s played 11 games for the Capitals and is 4-4-0 with a 2.53 goals-against average and a .923 save-percentage.

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