Robert Bortuzzo

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Blues want long-term deal for Parayko, who will play at Worlds

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Blues GM Doug Armstrong met with the media today in the wake of his club’s season-ending playoff loss to Nashville and, unsurprisingly, Colton Parayko was a significant topic of discussion.

Just hours after Hockey Canada announced Parayko would join the club at the World Hockey Championship, Armstrong said St. Louis would like to get the RFA blueliner signed to a long-term deal, calling him a “cornerstone player.”

Parayko, 23, has blossomed into one of the NHL’s best young d-man prospects since breaking into the league. He finished eighth in Calder voting as a rookie — on the strength of a nine-goal, 33-point campaign — and forged out an even bigger role for the Blues this year, scoring 35 points in 81 games while averaging 21:12 TOI per night.

He was leaned upon heavily in the playoffs. Head coach Mike Yeo upped Parayko’s ice time to 23:44 a night, behind only Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. Parayko responded by putting up five points in 11 games.

This all makes for a pretty intriguing offseason. Parayko will suit up for Canada despite not being under contract — always a dicey proposition — and he’s in line for a big ol’ raise.

Parayko just wrapped the last of a two-year, entry-level deal that carried a minuscule $858,750 cap hit. Undoubtedly, that figure will go up significantly with his extension.

In terms of comparables, Parayko could be eyeing the six-year, $30 million deal Toronto’s Morgan Rielly scored coming off his ELC, or perhaps the six-year, $31.5 million extension Hampus Lindholm inked in Anaheim. All three defensemen are 23 years old and were taken at the 2012 draft, though Rielly and Lindholm have logged over 300 games at the NHL level (Parayko’s at 160).

St. Louis currently has four blueliners under contract through 2019: Robert Bortuzzo, Carl Gunnarsson, Jay Bouwmeester and captain Alex Pietrangelo, who is signed through 2020. Next summer, Armstrong will need to extend another of the club’s talented young d-men — Joel Edmundson, who goes restricted in 2018.

Video: Predators’ Kevin Fiala leaves on stretcher, hospitalized after scary fall

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The crowd in St. Louis was sent to stunned silence at the scary sight of Nashville Predators rookie Kevin Fiala crashing feet-first into boards during the first period of Game 1.

Fiala was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he awkwardly hit the boards following a hit by Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo. An arena announcement indicated that Fiala will be taken to a nearby hospital.

The Predators announced that Fiala is alert and stable in an update.

It’s a cruel twist for the 20-year-old forward, whose high-end speed stands out most when you first see him. A bit longer than a week ago, he scored the biggest goal of his career as he ended Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks with the overtime-clincher. Now one has to wonder about his bigger-picture health.

Members of the Blues and Predators both escorted Fiala off the ice during a stunning moment for all involved.

Fight videos: Couturier vs. Landeskog; Lucic against Bortuzzo

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With 12 games on the docket, playoff positioning on the line and the trade deadline messing with emotions, it’s not surprising that we got a few fights on Tuesday.

It’s a little surprising to see Sean Couturier battle Gabriel Landeskog, though the two forwards certainly have some “sandpaper” to their games. Hockey Fights pegs this as Couturier’s fifth NHL bout while this Landeskog’s third of 2016-17 and ninth in the NHL.

(You think Landeskog got mad about a possible trade joke?)

The Flyers ended up easily beating the Avalanche 4-0.

The other noteworthy fight of the night involved Milan Lucic dropping the gloves with Robert Bortuzzo. Seeing Lucic drop the gloves is worthwhile even in a more mundane bout, while Bortuzzo tries to find himself a more consistent spot in the Blues’ lineup now that Kevin Shattenkirk leaves an empty spot:

Edmonton ended up edging St. Louis 2-1 in regulation.

Blues extend Bortuzzo through 2018-19

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The St. Louis Blues have locked up defenseman Robert Bortuzzo through the 2018-19 season.

The club announced today that Bortuzzo has agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension, with a reported cap hit of $1.15 million. The 27-year-old was a pending unrestricted free agent. His current cap hit is $1.05 million.

Bortuzzo, who hasn’t played since Dec. 3 due to a lower-body injury, is a rugged stay-at-home defender who has eight goals and 19 assists in 177 career games with St. Louis and Pittsburgh, the latter of which drafted him in 2007.

In 11 games this season, he has one goal, one assist, 26 hits, and is averaging 13:48 of ice time.

Tarasenko’s OT winner snuffs out Stars rally

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ST. LOUIS (AP) Vladimir Tarasenko scored at 3:24 of overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Tarasenko took a pass from Jori Lehtera and fired a wrist shot past Stars goalie Antti Niemi for 10th of the season and team-leading 23rd point.

Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak scored twice, including the tying goal with 50 seconds left in the third period. With Niemi pulled for an extra skater, Oleksiak sent the puck at the net from the left point and it got past Blues goalie Jake Allen for his fourth career goal – third against St. Louis.

Robby Fabbri, Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron also scored for St. Louis, and Allen finished with 18 saves.

Jamie Benn had the Stars’ other goal and Niemi stopped 27 shots.

St. Louis improved to 3-3 in games beyond regulation and Dallas fell to 1-6.

The Blues took a 3-2 lead with 6:48 remaining on a goal by Perron as he took a pass from Jaden Schwartz and beat Niemi. Perron has the longest active point-scoring streak in the NHL at eight games (three goals, eight assists).

The Blues improved to 6-1-0 over their past seven games. St. Louis has won its last five home games and is 8-0-2 in the last 10 at Scottrade Center.

St. Louis took a 2-0 lead before Dallas rallied.

The Blues scored with 6:24 left in the first period when Fabbri took a pass from Robert Bortuzzo in the right circle and sent a low wrist shot past Niemi. It was Fabbri’s first goal in six games.

Pietrangelo poked in a loose puck under the Niemi’s pad at 4:17 of the second period for a power-play goal. Patrick Berglund redirected the shot by Pietrangelo but Niemi never completely covered it. Charging the net, Pietrangelo pounced and knocked it in for a 2-0 lead.

Dallas cut the lead in half with 3:39 left in the second when Oleksiak beat Allen with a wrist shot from the right circle. Oleksiak skated around Perron and Pietrangelo to score.

The Stars tied it 2-2 on a power play when Benn, who also had two assists, scored 1:47 into the third. It was his third goal in his last five games.

St. Louis had two power-play opportunities in the third period and did not put a shot on goal.

This is the second of four meetings between the Stars and Blues this season. Dallas won the first meeting, 6-2, in Dallas on Nov. 3.