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Visa issue keeps Brouwer out of Blues lineup for now

Visa issue keeps Brouwer out of Blues lineup for now

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St. Louis Blues v Dallas Stars Game 3

St. Louis Blues right wing Troy Brouwer (left) reacts after assisting on a goal by left wing Alexander Steen (second from right) in the first period during Game 3 of a Western Conference semifinal playoff game between the St. Louis Blues and the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

Troy Brouwer had his first actual skate as a Blue, Part II, on Thursday morning, but he won't be in the lineup tonight against Calgary because he doesn't have the necessary work visa yet.

Brouwer said the plan was for him to be in the lineup tonight, but without the necessary paperwork, he can't play. He said sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes it takes a while and that he joked that he was hoping that after the team's visit to the White House, that the process could be sped up.

"We've come into slow immigration problems, which is how it goes," he said. "I came to the rink expecting to play this morning. Another skate today, one more tomorrow with the team and then hopefully I'll be in this weekend.

"I don't know (anyone who can speed it up) but the guys met Trump a couple months and I bet they can ask him."

With Craig Berube canceling the morning skate for all but the players who aren't suiting up tonight, that left Brouwer, Carl Gunnarsson and Jake Allen to take to the ice at Enterprise Center on Thursday morning.

Brouwer being out means that Jacob de la Rose will be. In practice on Wednesday, de la Rose centered the fourth line, with Ivan Barbashev moving into Sammy Blais' spot on the second line. The fourth line, which has been one of the team's strengths, has now seen two players graduate to higher lines in two games. Oskar Sundqvist moved up to the third line for the Tampa Bay game on Tuesday.

"He's a good two-way winger, goes up and down, plays a hard game, he's a smart player," Berube said of Brouwer. "He can play in all situations, penalty killing. If we need a power-play guy, he's been a power-play guy in his career too. It's nice having a guy like that with experience. He's won, a good locker room guy. I think it's a good thing having him here, especially with our injuries."

MISSING BLAIS

Tonight will be the first game of a 10-week run where the Blues will be without Sammy Blais, their hard-checking forward who has been the best of the team's young forward corps. Blais hurt his wrist in the second period on Tuesday and will have surgery, though he returned to the game after he got hurt and finished the game.

"That kind of an injury, it's a tough injury," Berube said. "It takes a lot of time to heal. You can't play with it, though. He came back with it. It was obviously bugging him."

It was unclear at the time of the injury what Blais had hurt. His shoulder was the main point of contact with the glass, but his hand also hit and, replays show, got bent back as it hit. When Blais was being treated on the ice, focus was on his head, where he was bleeding from a cut above his right eye, but all the while, he was flexing his right hand, which he had taken the glove off of immediately. Still, when he left the ice, he used his right hand to hold a towel to the cut on his head and shortly after returned to play.

"He's playing well this year, especially with the puck," Berube said. "He does a lot of things with it individually, beats people one-on-one, creates scoring chances on his own, physical player. He was a good player for us. We're not going to replace him. Somebody else is going to come in and play. That's how we've been doing things, same as the other injuries. We've got other guys that are going to get a chance."

LINES

Blues forwards:

Schwartz-Schenn-Bozak

Barbashev-O'Reilly-Perron

Sanford-Thomas-Sundqvist

MacEachern-de la Rose-Kostin

Blues defensemen:

Parayko-Pietrangelo

Bouwmeester-Faulk

Dunn-Bortuzzo

Blues goalie:

Binnington


FLAMES

Forwards:

Johnny Gaudreau -- Mikael Backlund -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Sean Monahan -- Andrew Mangiapane

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Zac Rinaldo -- Mark Jankowski -- Michael Frolik

Defensemen:

Mark Giordano -- Rasmus Andersson

Noah Hanifin -- Michael Stone

Oliver Kylington -- Brandon Davidson

Goalie:

David Rittich

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Alexander Yelesin

Injured: Sam Bennett (upper body), Austin Czarnik (lower body), Travis Hamonic (lower body), TJ Brodie (medical episode)

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