Sunday, February 21, 2016

Steen out four weeks; Allen activated from injured reserve

Forward was injured Saturday; goalie missed 17 
games, out since Jan. 8; Binnington, Harrold reassigned; 

ST. LOUIS -- Every time the Blues seem on the cusp of being healthy, another injury sets them back.

This one could be bigger than any of them.

The Blues announced Sunday that versatile two-way forward Alexander Steen will be reevaluated in four weeks after sustaining an upper-body injury after being injured in the first period of a 6-4 win at Arizona Saturday. 
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Alexander Steen (20) was placed on injured reserve Sunday with an
upper-body injury and will be reevaluated in four weeks, the Blues said.

Steen crashed into the corner boards in the offensive zone after colliding with Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton.

The Blues were off Sunday so coach Ken Hitchcock/player reaction was not available.

Steen, who leads the Blues with 30 assists and is second with 17 goals and 47 points (behind Vladimir Tarasenko in both categories), had a goal and assist before departing the game Saturday and is considered one of the more underrated two-way forwards in the NHL.

The Blues activated goalie Jake Allen from injured reserve and assigned goalie Jordan Binnington and defenseman Peter Harrold to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.

Allen missed 17 games with what is believed to be a knee injury. He hasn't played since Jan. 8 at Anaheim.

Since Allen has gone down, Brian Elliott has held down the fort in goal, starting all 17 games (a career-high); he is 12-3-2 with a 1.76 goals-against average, a .943 save percentage and one shutout. Elliott is tied for the NHL lead in GAA with New Jersey's Cory Schneider (2.06) and leads the league with a .931 save percentage.

Allen appeared in 33 games for the Blues; his record is  18-10-3 with a 2.17 GAA and a .924 save percentage with five shutouts, which is still tied for second in the NHL behind Chicago's Corey Crawford (seven).

Allen has been skating and taking shots for more than a week now and has occupied the opposite net of Elliott for a good portion of recent morning skates. 
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Goalie Jake Allen was activated off injured reserve
on Sunday. He's missed 17 games.

The situation has worked out well for the Blues, who have not had back-to-back games since Jan. 8-9, but they have a back-to-back coming up next weekend at Nashville Feb. 27 and at Carolina Feb. 28, which is the most likely spot for Allen to get a start.

The 32-year-old Harrold going back to the AHL isn't an indication that Alex Pietrangelo (knee) is ready to to return.

The Blues are home all week; they host San Jose Monday and the New York Rangers Thursday before departing for Nashville Friday. The Harrold reassignment is likely to get him back playing games and a possible cost-cutting move to preserve cap space.

Binnington, 22, made one appearance in two recall stints. He relieved Elliott in a game against the Hurricanes on Jan. 14. He faced four shots and allowed one goal in 13 minutes of play.

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