After eight-game absence, Bouwmeester back for Blues

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On Thursday, a new streak begins for Jay Bouwmeester.

Bouwmeester, who’s missed the last eight games with a groin ailment, will play for the first time since Nov. 22 when the Blues take on the Isles tonight in St. Louis.

Getting back is a big deal for the 31-year-old rearguard, who had his iron man streak snapped with his groin injury. Prior to getting hurt, Bouwmeester had played in 737 consecutive contests — at the time, it was the longest active streak among major professional sports, and the fifth-longest in NHL history.

In other Blues news, Thomas Steen will return to the lineup tonight after missing the last two games with an injury. Captain David Backes will play with a full shield after taking a puck to the face on Monday, and Carl Gunnarsson has been placed on IR with a concussion, stemming from the hit he took from New York’s Anders Lee.