Blues’ Stastny ‘doubtful’ for game against Lightning (Updated)

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It sounds like the St. Louis Blues won’t have Paul Stastny in their lineup for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Blues center suffered an upper-body injury in the third period of Tuesday’s game against Dallas and head coach Ken Hitchcock said he’s “doubtful” for tonight.

With the Christmas break right around the corner, the Blues would be wise to give Stastny some added time off. After tonight’s game in Tampa, they don’t play again until their home date with the Flyers on Wednesday night.

Short-term, the Blues need to find someone who can suit up at center for one game.

Replacing Stastny’s production will be nearly impossible with a simple call up from the minors. He has seven goals and 10 assists this season and he averages just under 20 minutes per game.

They could move Jori Lehtera and Patrik Berglund up in the lineup, but they’d still be short one player at center.

“Obviously it’s a top-six center so if it looks like he’s not able to play,” said Hitchcock, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’ll have to make an evaluation which way we want to go. We need to find somebody that plays center within our group that we can count on, or bring somebody in, but I’m not sure yet what (GM Doug Armstrong) wants to do here.”

Beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford suggests they could move a winger like Alex Steen, Jaden Schwartz or Robby Fabbri to the middle for one night, or they could opt to recall AHL Chicago’s Wade Megan, who’s never played in the NHL before.

We’ll find out soon enough.

Update: Stastny has been placed on injured reserve and the Blues have recalled Megan.

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