Despite sustaining a cut in Game 3 against the Sharks on Thursday, Bortuzzo will be available to play Saturday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. While he falls short of the offensive talent necessary to make him worthy of attention in fantasy leagues, Bortuzzo plays with a physical edge that is needed with the Blues trying to dig themselves out of a 2-1 deficit in the conference finals.
Bortuzzo was activated for Monday night's 3-2 loss to the Stars in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series. The veteran was making his series debut, and skated 17 shifts for 11:45 of ice time, picking up an assist and two shots on goal. Bortuzzo replaced rookie Joel Edmundson on the blue line, giving the Blues more of an attacking player on defense. It worked out well as St. Louis fell behind 3-0 in the first period and needed its defensemen to take chances and push the play.
Bortuzzo scored his second goal of the season in Friday night's 6-5 loss to Boston. Bortuzzo's first goal was way back in October, 35 games ago. That's how rare this event is. Since joining St. Louis last season, the 27-year-old defenseman has three goals and one assist in 51 games. The Blues are dealing with a couple of injuries on the blue line, so Bortuzzo will continue to be active as along as Jay Bouwmeester (upper body) and/or Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) remain unavailable.
Bortuzzo was in the lineup Friday night, filling in for the injured Jay Bouwmeester (upper body) in a 4-0 win over the Canucks. He tied for the team high with six hits against Vancouver, had three shots on net, and blocked one shot in 17:02. With Bouwmeester also set to sit out Saturday's game in Washington, Bortuzzo will get a second straight start. As the designated fill-in on the St. Louis blue line, his starts a few -- entering Friday's game, Bortuzzo had played just once since Feb. 27. With one point (a goal) this season, Bortuzzo isn't a great fantasy option unless you need some hits. The 6-foot-4 defenseman has piled up 79 hits in 35 games.
Bortuzzo was active for Wednesday night's game against Edmonton after being a healthy scratch the last seven games. Bortuzzo filled in for the injured Carl Gunnarson, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He had two shots on net, a blocked shot, and a hit in 13:43 of ice time. The Blues primarily use the 26-year-old from Thunderbay (Ont.) as an emergency fill-in when one of the top-six blue-liners get hurt.
Last 7 Games
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