By LOU KORAC
RALEIGH, N.C. -- With the sudden injuries to forwards Patrik Berglund and Jori Lehtera during a 5-4 shootout victory against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, the Blues were left shorthanded up front as they departed for a short two-game trip.
Both Berglund and Lehtera sustained upper-body injuries -- Berglund late in the second period and Lehtera early in the third period -- and did not return to the game, leaving the team with 10 forwards for much of the final 20 minutes, and Nashville was able to tie the game late.
The Blues recalled right wing Ty Rattie from the Chicago Wolves on Friday morning and he is expected to be in the lineup tonight when the Blues (30-13-4) face the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes, who are 17-25-5 but 7-2-1 in January, at 6 p.m. (FS-MW, KMOX 1120-AM).
Rattie, 21, has played in 43 games for the Wolves this season and is second with 28 points. He leads the team with 17 goals and is fifth in the American Hockey League. Rattie was recently part of the 2015 AHL All-Star Game and had a goal and three assists.
Rattie, the Blues' second round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has had a cup of coffee in the NHL with the Blues. He played in two games last season when the Blues were decimated with injuries down the stretch.
Rattie took a 5:45 a.m. flight out of Chicago and arrived in Raleigh around 11:30 a.m. local time.
"It's just as exciting (to get the call up)," Rattie said. "Feels like the first time. After getting two games last year, you see what it's like, you want it that much more. I've worked really hard, happy to be here (and) hopefully I'll do anything I can to help us win."
"... I've had a pretty good year so far, but obviously there are lots of things to build on. I want to keep that going."
The Blues did not hold a morning skate Friday, so line combinations won't be known until later, but one would assume that the top line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie will remain in tact, and Paul Stastny will slide into Lehtera's spot between Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Anything after that could be a scramble.
One group of forwards that got more responsibility as the game progressed Thursday was the fourth line with Steve Ott, newcomer Marcel Goc and Ryan Reaves.
Ott and Reaves scored goals and the group got thumbs up from the coach.
"We got really good minutes from Goc, we got really good minutes from 'Otter' and we got great minutes from 'Revo' again," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "This is two or three games in a row Revo has played outstanding. (He) deserves more ice time, and with the two injuries, he's going to get it now."
Goc, who won 13 of 18 faceoffs and played 12 minutes, 56 seconds, impressed his new coach.
"Managed the game," Hitchcock said. "Seventy-something percent (72 percent to be exact) on faceoffs, underneath the puck, he did a great job for us."
Reaves finished with four hits and two shots in 9:29 but look for him to get into double-digit minutes tonight.
"It only grows confidence in Hitch with us that we can roll all four lines," Reaves said. "When you can do that, it wears down other teams especially, because we play real physical. They don't really want to go back and get the puck."
Joakim Lindstrom will enter the lineup tonight as well.
- - -
Blues fathers, who were in attendance at Scottrade Center on Thursday, have joined their sons on this trip.
They were able to bring with them 17 of the 23 dads, including those of goalies Brian Elliott and Jake Allen, defensemen Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson, Kevin Shattenkirk, Barret Jackman, Ian Cole and Chris Butler and forwards Ott, Backes, Oshie, Lindstrom, Schwartz, Berglund, Chris Porter and Reaves.
Fathers unable to commit are those of Steen, Stastny, Lehtera, Tarasenko, Dmitrij Jaskin and Goc. And of course, Rattie's dad would have been under an emergency recall had he had ample time to join the rest of the fathers.
- - -
Tonight's game begins a stretch of five straight games against Eastern Conference foes for the Blues, who are 11-3-2 against the "other" conference this season.
"They're a little more skilled," Shattenkirk said of Eastern Conference teams. "They kind of get you to fall into that trap of trying to play a track meet game. That's not us; we can't do that. It's a matter of beating them up physically, making sure that we're putting pucks in and these next couple games, getting on their defensemen and trying to make them make harder plays than they're used to. That's when we really seem to thrive. It just feeds into the rest of our game."
- - -
The Blues' projected lineup:
Alexander Steen-David Backes-T.J. Oshie
Jaden Schwartz-Paul Stastny-Vladimir Tarasenko
Dmitrij Jaskin-Joakim Lindstrom-Ty Rattie
Steve Ott-Marcel Goc-Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson-Kevin Shattenkirk
Barret Jackman-Ian Cole
Jake Allen start in goal. Brian Elliott will be the backup.
Chris Butler will be the healthy scratch. Patrik Berglund (upper body) and Jori Lehtera (upper body) will not play tonight. Chris Porter (ankle) remains out of the lineup.
- - -
Hurricanes' projected lineup:
Eric Staal-Jordan Staal-Jiri Tlusty
Nathan Gerbe-Victor Rask-Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner-Riley Nash-Chris Terry
Brad Malone-Jay McClement-Patrick Dwyer
Andrej Sekera-Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey-Brett Bellemore
Tim Gleason-Ryan Murphy
Anton Khudobin will start in goal. Cam Ward will be the backup.
Healthy scratches include Alexander Semin, Andrej Nestrasil and John-Michael Liles. The Hurricanes report no injuries, although Tlusty was held out of practice the past couple days and is expected to play.