By LOU KORAC
BOSTON -- Vince Dunn and Robert Thomas will not play for the Blues against the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final today (7 p.m.; NBCSN, KYKY 98.1 FM).
Dunn has skated regularly in recent days and was a full participant again on Wednesday but apparently isn't ready to come back in.
Thomas was rocked by a third-period hit from Bruins defenseman Torey Krug in Game 1, a 4-2 Boston victory. But interim coach Craig Berube said that the hit has nothing to do with Thomas being out.
"No, nothing to do with that," he said.
Berube said on Tuesday that Thomas was "fine" but, made the choice Tuesday he would come out, likely because of a recurring undisclosed ailment that's been bothering him.
"When did I get the sense he wouldn't be in? Yesterday I made that decision that I was going to take him out," Berube said.
What it likely means is that Robby Fabbri will step in and replace Thomas, but Berube wouldn't confirm it. Fabbri hasn;t played since Game 5 of the second round against Dallas.
"We'll see at gametime," he said. "He's a tenacious player, he's quick, gets on the puck. He's a competitive kid. He's got the ability to score goals. We've seen that in the past from him. Those are the types of things we'll look for if he's in."
With Thomas out, it breaks up arguably one of the more consistent lines the Blues have utilized with Tyler Bozak and Pat Maroon.
"Obviously it's a change for sure, but these guys are veteran players and have been around for a long time," Berube said. "They'll be fine. It'll just be a different look for them."
One thing to keep in mind is that as players were coming on the ice for the morning skate, assistant coach Steve Ott had a lengthy conversation with Zach Sanford, who hasn't played since Game 3 of the first round against Winnipeg. Could the Blues insert Sanford in for a bigger body? Perhaps, but the best bet is that Fabbri will be the one coming in.
And Jaden Schwartz indicated as much.
"He's worked and he's been ready to go," Schwartz said of Fabbri. "He's very excited so we're happy to have him in the lineup."
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The Blues have done well turning the page after a loss, and after looking at video of Game 1, they understand what needs to be done tonight.
When there was a big panic among fans after getting waxed, 6-3, in Game 1 of the conference final against San Jose, the Blues responded with a 4-2 win in Game 2.
"I think we've done that yesterday. That's what the days in between are for," Blues forward David Perron said. "It was a good day. I think we're ready to go. It's certainly nice to get into the game in tonight.
"I saw the famous Tarasenko quote. I liked it a lot yesterday. We won the first game last year and then we end up losing four straight. The first game doesn't necessarily mean a lot, but I'm pretty sure (Game 2) means a lot, so we've got to get it."
What do the Blues need to limit?
"Both teams are pretty relentless on the forecheck," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "It's just a matter of limiting their speed through the neutral zone so they're not coming in with as much speed as they had last game.
"We didn't win the first game last series either and we just took a hard look at what we can do to get better and we've gotten better as every series has gone on."
Berube wants one aspect cleaned up.
"Manage the puck a lot better," he said. "We had a good first period. We were tight, connected. Second period, we got loose, not supporting the puck enough, just turning it over in the wrong areas. It fueled their momentum and the penalties for sure too. We've got to clear up the penalties. We can't take five penalties in a game."
If the Blues can fix some of their Game 1 issues, they'll have a shot at ending Boston's eight-game winning streak.
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* Vladimir Tarasenko's seven-game point streak (four goals, five assists) is tied for third-longest playoff point streak in Blues history (8-game streak would tie for second longest in team history with Gary Sabourin (1969) and Brett Hull (1990); (record held by Tony Currie, 9 games, 1981).
* Blues goalie Jordan Binnington is one win from becoming the third rookie goalie in NHL history to win each of his team’s first 13 wins in a playoff year (record is 15, co-held by Patrick Roy, Montreal, 1986 and Ron Hextall, Philadelphia, 1987). Binnington is also 11-2-0 after a loss in his NHL career with a 1.81 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.
* Since the Final went to the best-of-7 format in 1939, teams have taken a 2-0 series lead 51 times – winning the Cup 46 times. A team has overcome being down 2-0 in a series to win the Final twice in the past 47 years: the Bruins in 2011 vs. Vancouver and Pittsburgh in 2009 vs. Detroit. The Blues are 0-13 in Cup Final games, looking for their first-ever win.
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The Blues' projected lineup:
Jaden Schwartz-Brayden Schenn-Vladimir Tarasenko
Sammy Blais-Ryan O'Reilly-David Perron
Pat Maroon-Tyler Bozak-Robby Fabbri
Ivan Barbashev-Oskar Sundqvist-Alexander Steen
Joel Edmundson-Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester-Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson-Robert Bortuzzo
Jordan Binnington will start in goal; Jake Allen will be the backup.
Healthy scratches include Michael Del Zotto, Zach Sanford, Mackenzie MacEachern, Chris Thorburn, Chris Butler and Ville Husso. Vince Dunn (upper body) remains day-to-day, Robert Thomas (wrist) is out.
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The Bruins' projected lineup:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-David Backes
Marcus Johansson-Charlie Coyle-Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Connor Clifton
Tuukka Rask will start in goal; Jaroslav Halak will be the backup.
Healthy scratches include Steven Kampfer, Karson Kuhlman and John Moore. Chris Wagner (right arm) and Kevan Miller (lower body) are out.
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