ST. LOUIS (AP) — Robert Thomas is ready to return to the St. Louis Blues’ lineup for a potential Stanley Cup-clinching Game 6 against the Boston Bruins.
Thomas has missed the past four games of the series with a suspected hand or wrist injury. He handled the puck fine in practice Saturday and Sunday morning and declared himself good to go.
The smooth-skating forward’s return is a major boost for the Blues as they look to try to win the first Stanley Cup in the history of a franchise that has been around since 1967. And it comes at a perfect time to compensate for the one-game suspension of fourth-line winger Ivan Barbashev.
Boston is making its own roster change. Coach Bruce Cassidy is going back to the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen after dressing 11 and seven for precautionary reasons in the Bruins’ Game 5 loss because captain Zdeno Chara was playing with a broken jaw.
But it’s not former Blues captain-turned-Bruins role player David Backes going back in for depth defenseman Steven Kampfer. Instead it’s 23-year-old rookie Karson Kuhlman, who hasn’t played since Game 3 of the second round against Columbus on April 30.
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