After missing three games with an upper-body injury sustained the last time the Blues played Minnesota (April 8), forward Mackenzie MacEachern returned to practice Friday at Centene Community Ice Center.
But MacEachern didn’t make it through the practice, leaving the ice early and heading back to the locker room area accompanied by head athletic trainer Ray Barile.
Several hours later the Blues announced that MacEachern had been placed on long-term injured reserve. Under terms of long-term injured reserve (LTIR), MacEachern must miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days.
As a result, MacEachern will miss the rest of the regular season. The 28-year-old native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., spent most of the season with the Springfield Thunderbirds, the Blues’ minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League.
He was called up to the Blues’ roster on March 7 and appeared in 14 games. He had two assists, was minus-1 and averaged seven minutes 58 seconds of ice time playing on the fourth line.
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The Blues have recalled Dakota Joshua from Springfield to take MacEachern’s spot on the active roster. Joshua scored his seventh goal of the season Wednesday for the Thunderbirds in their 4-2 loss to Syracuse. He had seven goals and 10 assists in 33 games for the T-Birds.
In 25 games this season with the Blues — he’s been called up on seven separate occasions — Joshua has two goals, three assists and is plus-4, averaging 8:12 per game.
Robert Thomas’ career-long point streak now stands at 11 games, the second-longest active streak in the league behind Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau (13 games). Thomas has six goals and 17 assists during his streak, and is plus-12.
With one goal and two assists in Thursday’s 6-2 victory over Buffalo, Pavel Buchnevich established a career-best point streak at eight games. He has five goals and nine assists during his streak and is plus-10.
Ryan O’Reilly has a different kind of streak going. After winning 11 of 18 faceoffs against Buffalo, O’Reilly has gone 15 straight games at 50 percent or above in faceoff wins. That’s his longest faceoff streak since coming to the Blues in the heralded 2018 trade. He previously had a couple of 13-game streaks with the Blues.
The Blues’ penalty kill unit stretched its streak to 10 games without allowing a power play goal with a 2-for-2 performance against Buffalo. The Blues have killed off 16 consecutive penalties in those 10 games.
Defenseman Scott Perunovich, who underwent wrist surgery on March 9, went through skating drills Friday at Centene. He came out on the ice about halfway through an optional skate and headed down to the other end of the ice — away from the 12 players taking part in the optional — to do his drill work.
He stayed out on the ice long after the optional had concluded. For the most part he held his stick with only one hand, not really using his surgically-repaired left wrist. Perunovich was scheduled to be re-evaluated in eight weeks following the surgery and is only about 5½ weeks into his recovery/rehab, so he’s a ways away from even considering playing. And perhaps too late to do so this season.
Coach Craig Berube said Perunovich had skated a couple of times previously since the surgery.
• Saturday’s 2 p.m. game against the Minnesota Wild marks the Blues’ tenth and final afternoon game of the regular season. The Blues have won only three of the first nine (3-4-2).
• Vladimir Tarasenko had a career-high five points Thursday on two goals and three assists. Thomas had a career-high five assists. It marked only the fourth time in franchise history that two Blues had five points or more in the same game. The most recent time it happened was Oct. 18, 1989, with Brett Hull and Sergio Momesso (who is Marco Scandella’s uncle).
• The Blues weren’t very physical against the Sabres; their seven hits tied for a season low, set previously in a 3-2 loss to Arizona on Nov. 16.