NHL notebook: Blues begin series without T.J. Oshie

| Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:54 p.m.

The Blues ruled out forward T.J. Oshie for their playoff opener against the Blackhawks, but Vladimir Tarasenko is scheduled to return after missing 15 games with a broken thumb.

Coach Ken Hitchcock also said forward Patrik Berglund would not play in Game 1 on Thursday night. He had no update on Oshie, who missed practice Wednesday.

Tarasenko is returning about two weeks ahead of schedule.

“He deserves an awful lot of credit. He's worked extra hard to be in the best shape of his life,” Hitchcock said after the morning skate.

The Blues got several other players back from injuries. Forwards David Backes, Vladimir Sobotka and Brenden Morrow and defensemen Barret Jackman and Alex Pietrangelo all missed the regular season finale.

• The Avalanche were without forward John Mitchell and defenseman Cory Sarich in Game 1 of their playoff series against Minnesota. Coach Patrick Roy said after the morning practice that Mitchell is out with a head injury and is “day-to-day.” Sarich is sidelined with an aching back, but Roy said he's “feeling better.” Sarich hasn't played since April 1. Mitchell sat out the last two games of the regular season. The Avalanche already are without leading scorer Matt Duchene, who missed the last eight games of the season after damaging the MCL in his left knee when he collided with a teammate.

• A day after Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf took a slap shot to the head, the Ducks had already found the lighter side of a potentially disastrous playoff injury. Coach Bruce Boudreau was succinct: “I didn't want to look at him,” he said. Nobody in either dressing room was surprised to learn Getzlaf plans to play against the Stars in Game 2 on Friday night despite that huge cut on his face. Getzlaf was hit by Tyler Seguin's shot in the final minute of the Ducks' 4-3 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night in the series opener, but the puck apparently broke no bones — which means it'll be almost impossible to keep Getzlaf off the ice.

— AP

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