Jori Lehtera will be watching tonight’s game from the press box.
The skilled center will be a healthy scratch on Saturday night when St. Louis host the Winnipeg Jets, according to Lou Korac, who covers the Blues for NHL.com. It appears that Nail Yakupov will take his spot in the lineup.
Lehtera has seven points (3-4-7) in 20 games, and was demoted to the third line during last game. Earlier this season, coach Ken Hitchcock scratched Robby Fabbri to get him motivated, and now he’s doing it again with another of the Blues top-nine forwards.
Yakupov will play on the third line with Patrik Berglund and Dmitrij Jaskin. The former first-overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers has five points (2-3-5) in 16 games this season. He’s been healthy-scratched eight times so far this season, since being acquired in October for ECHL forward Zach Pochiro and a conditional draft pick.
According to Korac, Hitchcock said he’s liked Yakupov’s effort in the last three practices. His last game was November 23.