By amuir29
April 17, 2014

A couple of quick hits from today's morning skates:

In St. Louis, coach Ken Hitchcock has confirmed that the Blues will be missing two top-six forwards for their opener against the Blackhawks

Vladimir Tarasenko took part in line drills, so he's expected to be in the lineup, as is David Backes. But with the forwards ailing, the pressure is definitely on the St. Louis defense to clamp down on the odd-man rushes -- and on goalie Ryan Miller to come up with the big stop.

In Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg made his long-awaited return to the ice this morning, but he's still not close to game action.

The best-case scenario for Zetterberg's return is still late in this series, although the second round is more likely. That timetable could move up if the Red Wings can steal serve by winning one of two in Boston.

In Tampa Bay, winger Ondrej Palat missed today's skate after being injured in Wednesday night's 5-4 OT loss to the Canadiens, but goalie Ben Bishop was on hand in full gear.

Anders Lindback will start for the Lightning in Game 2 and, from the sounds of things, may have to carry the Bolts for the duration of the series. Palat sounds like a game-time decision.

In Boston, the Bruins are facing the possibility of being short a couple of key veterans for Friday's opener against Detroit.

Andrei Meszaros will be fine in a limited role on the blue line and rookie Justin Florek impressed with his physical play during a brief call-up. Jordan Caron though is a significant downgrade.

Ducks Ryan Getzlaf Tyler Seguin

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