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Oshie sits with flu, but Brouwer gets his homecoming

Oshie sits with flu, but Brouwer gets his homecoming

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WASHINGTON • While ex-Blue T.J. Oshie missed his first chance to play against his former teammates because of the flu — Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he begged to play but the team wouldn’t let him — Blues forward Troy Brouwer, who went the other way in the trade, got the chance to play his old team.

The nature of the trip didn’t lend itself much time to savor old memories. The Blues got in to Washington about 2:30 a.m. after playing Vancouver on Friday, played Saturday night and flew home after the game. But even if there wasn’t much chance to see old teammates, even being in the nation’s capital brought back memories.

“Just seeing the landmarks, seeing the things I saw every day for four years during the season, it brings back good memories,” Brouwer said. “One of the first things you do when the schedule comes out is look to see when you’re playing your old team. I was a little disappointed that we played them so late in the season.”

Though Brouwer left a team that has run away from everyone with by far the best record in the league, he sees the trade as one that has worked out for both teams.

“I know my production’s down a little from previous years, but it goes to being in a more defensive conference, being on a team that’s a little more focused on structure,” he said. “I feel all in all I’ve had a great contribution to the team so far this year, hopefully still a whole lot more contribution still to go. On the other side, I still pay attention to what Washington does and Oshie’s having a good year over there as well. Sometimes trades don’t always work out both ways but I feel this trade has worked out on both sides. So far at least.”

Trotz said Oshie would make the trip to St. Louis when the Capitals play there on April 9.

DEFENSE IS SHORT

The Blues were down two defensemen on Saturday. Having already lost Jay Bouwmeester for the weekend to an upper-body injury (he’s day to day), the Blues were without Carl Gunnarsson on Saturday because of a lower body injury suffered late in the Vancouver game. It doesn’t look to be serious — Gunnarsson made the trip — but it pushed Petteri Lindbohm into the lineup and left the Blues with three rookie defensemen, Lindbohm, Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson, plus Robert Bortuzzo, who has played in only 35 games this season.

“Whatever comes out of tonight, our young defensemen are going to get great experience from this,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “It’s going to put three young guys back there and they’re going to get great experience from having to play in this atmosphere and against this team. It’s going to be a real good test and it’s going to be a good school exercise for a lot of young guys today.”

NOTES

Hitchcock said after Friday’s game that Brian Elliott would get “a holiday,” which apparently extended to him to staying in St. Louis rather than making the trip to watch from the bench. Elliott didn’t make the trip to Washington and Anders Nilsson was the backup. Hitchcock said it was the one time the team would do that because of the late arrival into Washington. “It’s not realistic,” Hitchcock said, “so stay away from it.” ... Magnus Paajarvi was a healthy scratch.

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