Two key Blues return to practice

ST. LOUIS — The Blues are getting closer to the lineup that set a franchise record for wins instead of the patchwork one that lost six in a row to finish the season.

"The cavalry's coming," said wing Brenden Morrow, who skated on Tuesday after missing the season finale with a foot injury.

Wing T.J. Oshie skated for the first time since taking a shoulder to the face from Minnesota's Brian Rupp on Thursday.

"It's the doctor's decision first," he said. "I think they know what my decision is."

Three regulars did not skate: center David Backes (foot), center Patrik Berg­lund (upper body) and wing Vladimir Sobotka (lower body). The team did not disclose their status for Thursday.

Avs: Center and top scorer Matt Duchene, who hurt his knee March 29, will sit out Games 1 and 2, the Denver Post reported.

Blackhawks: Wing Patrick Kane and center Jonathan Toews practiced and likely will play Thursday. Kane hurt his left knee in a collision March 19. Toews sustained an upper-body injury March 30.

Flyers: Goalie Steve Mason left practice early. Saturday, he was run over by teammate Andrew MacDonald and Pittsburgh's Jayson Megna. The team did not say if he or Ray Emery will start Thursday. Also, MacDonald signed a six-year, $30 million extension. The defenseman could have become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Concussions: Ex-players Dave Christian, Reed Larson and William Bennett sued the league, alleging it promoted fighting and downplayed the risk of head injuries from them. It's the third lawsuit over concussions filed by ex-players. In an email, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, wrote, "Nothing changes our belief that all of these cases are without merit, and they will be defended accordingly."

.Fast facts

Panthers win lottery

The Panthers will draft first overall after winning the lottery Tuesday. With the second-fewest points, they had an 18.8 percent chance of winning but supplanted the league-worst Sabres (25 percent). The top 13 picks (the rest are determined by playoff results):

1. Panthers 8. Maple Leafs

2. Sabres 9. Jets

3. Oilers 10. Ducks

4. Flames (from Senators)

5. Islanders 11. Predators

6. Canucks 12. Coyotes

7. Hurricanes 13. Capitals

Note: The Devils didn't make the playoffs but will draft 30th because of a salary cap violation.

Two key Blues return to practice 04/15/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:45pm]

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