CHICAGO - Patrik Berglund will return to the lineup for Game 3 tonight in Chicago (7:30 p.m CT, FSMW, Y98 FM).
Berglund has been out of the lineup since suffering an upper-body injury on April 11 in Dallas.
“He’s playing. He feels good and ready to go. He's been declared fit to play,” Ken Hitchcock said in his morning press conference. “You’re walking into a hornet’s nest (in this series), so that’s why we’re starting him on the lower side of the roster to see where he’s at from being mentally able to keep up.”
David Backes, who was hit by Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook with 15:09 left in the third period in Game 2, won’t play tonight. Seabrook was suspended three games for the hit by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
“He’s our No. 1 center. He plays the most minutes on the hockey club, he plays in every situation,” Hitchcock said of Backes. “It has to be shared. Not one person is going to be able to take this slot, we don’t have that. It’s a big hole, but we’re more equipped to handle this than we would have been without Bergy.”
The Blues, who lead the best-of-7 series 2-0, expect a tough test tonight at United Center.
Said Hitchcock: “We’ve got to play our best game today. We’ve got to play a lot better than we did in the first two games if we expect to win. We can play better, I think our players will, but we’re going to need to. We’ve got to really amp up our game if we expect to win in this building.”
Barret Jackman, after scoring the overtime game-winning goal in Game 2, has points in both games in the series. Jackman joined Chris Pronger and Jeff Brown as the only defensemen in Blues history with at least two playoff game-winners.
Vladimir Tarasenko has points in each of his last seven games (four goals, four assists).
The Blues have a 2-0 series lead for the 12th time in team history. When the Blues go up 2-0 in a series, they are 10-1.
The Blues have become the third team in Stanley Cup Playoffs to win consecutive games in a series when trailing in the final two minutes. The others were in the Canadiens (1969) and the Flyers (1977).
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