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Blues notebook: Bortuzzo returns after being cut Friday

Blues notebook: Bortuzzo returns after being cut Friday

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Blues and Jets battle in game 3 of the playoffs

A trainer looks at Blues Robert Bortuzzo after he was injured during the first period of the game between the St. Louis Blues and the Winnipeg Jets at the Enterprise Center. This is game three of the seven game series. Bortuzzo continued to play in the game. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo needed seven stitches in his right wrist after he was sliced by a skate blade in Game 2 of the team’s playoff series with the Jets on Friday night in Winnipeg, but he was back in action for Game 3 on Sunday.

“It looked worse than it was so it was a little alarming,” he said. “Anything you get in those areas ...”

Bortuzzo got cut with about 11 minutes to go in the game Friday when he tumbled to the ice with Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry. Bortuzzo was dripping blood, but he didn’t feel anything and the referees didn’t notice that. The Blues’ bench did and was frantically trying to get play stopped, even throwing a towel on the ice. Complicating matters is that there’s no direct access to the Blues’ dressing room from the team’s bench at Winnipeg, unlike most arenas.

To get to the dressing room, play had to be stopped so Bortuzzo could leave through a door on the side opposite the bench.

Bortuzzo said he was fortunate in that he tapes his wrists before games, which might have kept the cut from being deeper.

“They were yelling before the puck dropped (for a faceoff),” Bortuzzo said, “and they dropped the puck, so we just continued. I saw it. I tape my wrist, so it had to go through a couple layers.”

Bortuzzo returned to the bench after the incident but didn’t take another shift.

“It can be (scary) for sure,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “That’s tough. It was a tough play, all around. The linesman, it’s a tough play to blow the whistle. We were obviously taking precaution, but everything’s fine.”

Bortuzzo was in pain again in the first period on Sunday when he went down to block a shot by Patrick Laine and appeared to take the puck in the midsection. He skated to the bench but eventually returned to the ice. He logged 17 minutes 29 seconds of ice time in the Blues’ 6-3 loss.

SAN ANTONIO DONE

The Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, ended its season on Saturday with a record of 31-38-6-1. (The AHL lists shootout losses separate from overtime losses.) They finished with 69 points, the fourth fewest in the league.

The team started slowly, started playing better at midseason then finished slowly as injuries and NHL callups depleted the roster.

Defenseman/forward Joey LaLeggia led the team in scoring, with 47 points on 16 goals and 31 assists, followed by defenseman Mitch Reinke with 45 points (12-33). Forward Jordan Kyrou, who had 43 points (16-27) did it in 47 games — 24 fewer than LaLeggia played in — because of injuries and callups.

The Blues have yet to announce any callups from San Antonio for the playoffs — a group referred to as Black Aces around the NHL . The team already has four extra forwards and two extra defensemen, plus goalie Ville Husso, who has been with the team for a couple weeks. So the Blues might not see the need for many more.

Kyrou missed the end of the Rampage season because of an injury, though the Blues have said that it wouldn’t necessarily preclude him from joining the Blues for the postseason.

NOTES

Berube, seeing no reason to change anything, stuck Sunday with the same 20-man playing roster he used in the first two games, leaving Carl Gunnarsson, Sammy Blais, Robby Fabbri, Chris Thorburn, Michael Del Zotto and Mackenzie MacEachern as healthy scratches.

• Winnipeg made one change, putting forward Mathieu Perreault back in the lineup and sitting Par Lindholm.

• The Blues lost 300 man-games to injury, the second-most, behind Dallas, of any team that made the playoffs, according to the website mangameslost.com. The Blues were second among playoff teams in the impact of those injuries, behind Boston. The Blues were sixth in injury impact, seventh in total games lost.

• One of the television cameramen on the ice during the national anthems fell, got up, and then almost fell again, leading linesman Steve Miller to skate over to his assistance.

• Winnipeg had eight American players in its lineup on Sunday; the Blues had two.

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