The Blues had a vigorous practice on Thursday morning at St. Louis Mills before catching a 12:30 p.m. plane to Florida.

They will play the Panthers on Friday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, but they will be without Brenden Morrow. The left winger took a cross-check to the rib area early in the third period against Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Morrow did not skate during an optional day on Wednesday and was not on the ice again Thursday. With the forward Max Lapierre's suspension officially ended on Tuesday and with Adam Cracknell already in the lineup, the Blues have12 forwards to occupy four lines. But chances are they will make a roster move later today to add an extra body.

“Morrow's going to just stay here and we're going top evaluate him on Monday to see if he can join us in Montreal,” coach Ken Hitchcock said.

The Blues placed Magnus Paajarvi on injured reserve, which is retro-active to Saturday when he was injured at Nashville. Paajarvi is making the trip and will skate with the team tomorrow. He would be eligible to come off IR and play on Saturday at Tampa Bay, if he was ready. But that seems unlikely.

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Some might suggest Alexander Steen is a throwback-type of player, both in the way he plays and the way he approaches the profession. Another aspect of that is his use of the backhand shot.

Steen's backhand shot beat goalie Ondrej Pavelec on Tuesday night, netting a game-winning goal with 59 seconds remaining. He has used the backhander – aka the Red Berenson special - quite often this season.

“I've always had a pretty straight stick,” said Steen, who has 11 goals in 10 games “I wouldn't say it's straight, but it's straighter than a lot of sticks. I have a little bit of curve on the toe - I need something - but there's not much to it. It helps when it comes to catching passes or shooting a backhand shot.”

Steen said Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby uses a straight stick.

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The Blues will start Brian Elliott in goal against the Panthers tomorrow night. Jaroslav Halak will get the call in Tampa Bay.