ST. LOUIS — Steven Stamkos did not participate in the morning skate before Tuesday’s game, but he followed Andrei Vasilevskiy onto the ice for warmups. Coach Jon Cooper had said it was just a “little maintenance” for Stamkos after morning skate.
Cory Conacher, recalled as a precaution, was also on the ice for warmups, but it was Stamkos who took line rushes — his usual spot centering the top line — and then made the lineup.
Stamkos, who has not missed a game since April 2017, fully participated in practice Monday. He sat in the dressing room joking after getting off the ice.
The center has had lingering knee issues since tearing the meniscus and also missed substantial time due to a broken leg and blood clot. He played all 82 games last year, the first time since 2015, and posted a career high 98 points. He’s on a similar pace with 20 points in the first 17 games this year.
Stamkos enters the game on a five-game point streak with two goals and six assists, the longest of any player on the team this season. St. Louis represents a minor weak spot for Stamkos. The Blues are the only team against which he’s never scored a power-play goal.
Conacher has not played in the NHL since last year’s season opener, but has 189 games in the league over six years. Last season, Conacher notched 64 points in 72 AHL games. So far this year, he has 12, including five goals, in 16 games.