By LOU KORAC
ST. LOUIS -- The Blues got some unexpected news Saturday morning when it was disclosed that David Perron would miss Saturday's home game against the Ottawa Senators (6 p.m.; FS-MW, KMOX 1120-AM) with an upper-body injury.
Perron came in with a 13-game point streak (six goals, 10 assists), which was the longest of his career, but that will come to an end with the unfortunate absence tonight, an injury interim coach Craig Berube called day-to-day.
"It's a tough loss," Berube said. "He's been playing well."
Perron was on the ice and played 22 minutes 28 seconds, a season-high, in a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday, and Berube said he didn't know when it happened.
In Perron's absence, the Blues juggled their forward lines around, and it will be Pat Maroon playing alongside Ryan O'Reilly, who has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) the past 12 games, and Vladimir Tarasenko, who had been playing with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz.
"Planned on doing that anyhow, even if Perron was playing," Berube said. "Getting Patty up there and just with [Zach] Sanford being out, we've used him up there. [Alexander] Steen, we've used him up there."
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The Blues put Sanford (concussion) on injured-reserve, which opens a roster spot for them to activate Steen, who's missed the past six games with a left shoulder injury sustained Jan. 7 at Philadelphia.
Berube called Steen a game-time decision, and Steen didn't commit to whether he was playing; he did skate on a line with Schenn and Schwartz while working on the second power-play unit.
"Progressing. I don't know, every day's new," Steen said. "You try to get it to move forward every day. Obviously I just stepped off the ice, so we'll go in and chat again, go over some stuff, rehabbing and all that good stuff."
If Steen can't go, look for Robby Fabbri, who is projected as a healthy scratch, to get in the lineup.
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Center Tyler Bozak (concussion) skated for the first time since Jan. 9 and gives himself a chance to play, perhaps one or both games of the two-game trip to California before the All-Star break.
Bozak has missed the past seven games after injuring himself at the end of the 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Jan. 5.
"I kind of got slew-footed off the draw, just a battle for the puck and fell backwards," Bozak said. "I couldn't really brace for the fall and just hit my head off the back of the ice, felt a little weird after that. I thought I was going to be alright and then flew to Philadelphia and just didn't feel good after that flight.
"... Obviously with concussions and stuff, you don't know how long it's going to be or you might feel good one day and then feel bad the next, but I've been taking strides in the right direction. It's really nice to get on the ice with the guys. It's the first time I've done that. I'm starting to feel really good, so I'm hoping to get into a game here before the break. Hopefully just keep progressing and obviously not something I'm going to rush back. Sometimes like that with kids and stuff makes you think extra about it and make sure I'm ready. Hopefully it's in the next couple games.
"I skated once like a week ago and didn't feel too good, so I took a couple days off and skated lightly yesterday and felt good, so ramped it up today. I feel good again today. The big test is kind of today and tomorrow the day after you skate pretty hard to see how you recover and see how you feel. Hoping for good things."
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Jordan Binnington gets the nod in goal for the Blues tonight. He is 3-0-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average, a .960 save percentage and one shutout in his four NHL starts, allowing only four goals.
With going back to the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen, Joel Edmundson will be the healthy scratch tonight.
Edmundson has played the past seven games but was a healthy scratch on Jan. 5.
"We have seven healthy 'D' so I have to make a decision," Berube said. "I make a decision and it's not easy.
"I'd rather have seven healthy 'D' than six. There's things that happen and you need a lot of defense because if something happens here and there and you're losing 'D', that's tough because they're important players and it's nice to have seven good healthy NHL defensemen."
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The Blues' projected lineup:
Pat Maroon-Ryan O'Reilly-Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz-Brayden Schenn-Alexander Steen
Sammy Blais-Oskar Sundqvist-Jordan Kyrou
Mackenzie MacEachern-Ivan Barbashev-Jordan Nolan
Carl Gunnarsson-Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeeser-Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn-Robert Bortuzzo
Jordan Binnington will start in goal; Jake Allen will be the backup.
Healthy Scratches include Joel Edmundson and Robby Fabbri. David Perron (upper body), Tyler Bozak (concussion), Robert Thomas (shoulder) and Zach Sanford (concussion) are all out.
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The Senators' projected lineup:
Brady Tkachuk-Chris Tierney-Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel-Matt Duchene-Bobby Ryan
Rudolfs Balcers-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Mikkel Boedker
Magnus Paajarvi-Nick Paul-Zack Smith
Thomas Chabot-Dylan DeMelo
Ben Harpur-Cody Ceci
Christian Wolanin-Christian Jaros
Craig Anderson will start in goal; Anders Nilsson will be the backup.
The healthy scratch is projected to be Maxime Lajoie. Justin Falk (upper body), Mike Condon (hip), Colin White (upper body) and Mark Borowiecki (lower body) are all out.
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