Veteran Blues forward Alexander Steen has been placed on injured reserve with a left shoulder injury and will be evaluated in two weeks. Steen suffered the injury just nine minutes into Monday's 3-0 Blues victory in Philadelphia.
Steen was carrying the puck when Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas knocked him off his feet in a collision at center ice. Steen left the ice immediately and did not return to the game.
Steen, 34, already has missed eight games this season due to injury. He missed six games from Nov. 16 through Nov. 24 with an upper-body injury. He returned for two games and then missed two more contests with a concussion.
Steen got off to a productive start, with six goals and five assists in his first 18 games. But since returning from the concussion, he has gone without a goal in 14 games _ although he did have four assists and was plus-4 in that span.
Because of the all-star break and the Blues' bye period following the all-star break, Steen likely won't play again until a Feb. 2 contest in Columbus.
LIGHT 3 FORWARDS? NO SWEAT
Ivan Barbashev limped off the ice and headed down the tunnel just eight minutes into Monday's Blues game in Philadelphia. About one minute later, Steen did the same thing, leaving with his shoulder injury.
Now, factor in that interim coach Craig Berube chose to go with only 11 forwards to being with _ and the Blues had a manpower crisis up front, down the equivalent of one full line at Wells Fargo Center.
No big deal, according to Berube.
"I call the lines out," he said. "Just rotate some guys in and out there. It worked really well."
It helped, of course, that Barbashev returned after an eight-minute absence, which left the Blues light only two forwards for the rest of the game _ from the usual 12.
"Our big guys, they like the ice time and they got a lot of it (Monday)," Berube said.
That they did.
Jaden Schwartz logged a season-high 22 minutes 6 seconds of ice time; David Perron's 21:21 also was a season high. Brayden Schenn's 21:06 was his third-highest total of the season. With 20:30 of ice time, Vladimir Tarasenko logged his first 20-minute game since before Thanksgiving (Nov. 21 at Nashville).
All told, five Blues forwards logged 20 minutes-plus in the 3-0 victory over the Flyers.
"A lot of ice time for everyone," Schenn said. "Can't complain. Try and catch your wind and get back out there."
Even outside the Blues' top two lines, there were forwards getting more time than usual due to the manpower shortage.
Fourth-line stalwart Oskar Sundqvist had a season-high 16:10. Sundqvist even got in for 35 seconds worth of power-play duty. He had only 30 seconds of power-play time _ total _ over the entire season prior to Monday, coming in dribbles over four games.
And Zach Sanford's 15:07 was just one second off his season-high ice time of 15:08 Dec. 9 against Vancouver.
"For the D, it didn't change much," defenseman Carl Gunnarsson said. "More on the forward side, it's probably a little tougher to change up the lines like that.
"But I think we did a better job of keeping the rotation. I think everyone was going. I don't know if that's what you want, guys going down and all that. It makes it a little tougher but we managed to fight through that and have a good game."
Monday marked the third time this season, and the second time under Berube, that the Blues have gone with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. The Blues are 2-0 doing so under Berube, having beaten Washington 5-2 last week with the same personnel structure.
Even with the injury complications Monday, Berube said it won't necessarily cause him to rethink going 11 and 7 in the future.
"Not really," he said. "What if you lose a D and go down to five D? That's just part of the game."
CHEERS FOR BINNINGTON
Yes, the very loud cheers heard from the Blues locker room were for Jordan Binnington after the rookie posted a 25-save shutout in his first NHL start against Philly.
"I don't know if he got a 'star' or did some interviews, whatever, but he was the last guy coming in," Gunnarsson said. "So we were all sitting here, just waiting for him. It was pretty cool."
Compared to the very talkative Carter Hutton and Chad Johnson, Binnington is a veritable wallflower in the world of Blues backup goalies.
"He blends right in," Gunnarsson said. "Like every rookie, kind of a little bit on the quiet side. He's probably keeping some secrets from you guys (in the media). But he's vocal on the ice. He's talking."
As only the second goalie in Blues history to record a shutout in his first start, and just the 35th to do so in NHL history, there was a sense among the Blues and the Blues' traveling party that they had seen something special. That was also due to the fact that it took Binnington more than seven years from the day he was drafted to get his first start.
"He's worked hard to get to this point and finally got rewarded," Schenn said.
Binnington's father and stepmother attended Monday's game, and he was able to hook up with them briefly after the game before the team flight back to St. Louis.
Schwartz remains stuck on three goals, but it isn't for a lack of trying. Over the past five games, he's had 46 attempts _ a total that includes shots on goal, shots blocked, and misses. That's an average of more than nine per game. Over his first 22 games this season, Schwartz had 86 attempts, or less than four per game.
• Perron's empty-net goal against the Flyers extended his points streak to seven games (three goals, seven assists). Ryan O'Reilly's two assists extended his points streak to six games (three goals, five assists).
• On a night when the Blues dressed an extra defenseman, Colton Parayko still logged 25:16 of ice time. No other Blues defenseman had even 20 minutes, not even workhorse Alex Pietrangelo.
• The Blues have been among the NHL's top faceoff teams all season but they met their match in Philadelphia. St. Louis won only 39 percent of its faceoffs against a Flyers team that leads the league in faceoff success at 56.4 percent.