Vladimir Tarasenko likely to play tonight versus Kings
St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko (91) of Russia tries to keep up with Edmonton Oilers Ladislav Smid of the Czech Republic during the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 26, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
LOS ANGELES - Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock wouldn't officially announce that 21-year old Vladimir Tarasenko will suit up and play tonight against the Kings in Game 4 at the Staples Center but his words and actions speak to the fact he likely will.
"(Tarasenko's) an asset we can use," Hitchcock said. "I had a talk with him yesterday. He's excited to play. I think he deserves to play based on his regular season. He can play left (wing) or right (wing) so that certainly gives us some options moving forward if the game gets as close as it does."
That's about as close to confirmation from a coach just hours before a playoff game as you're going to get.
Hitchcock also said Tarasenko was a terrific player in the regular season before he suffered an injury. Once he returned he was a little tentative but seems to have gotten back into his rhythm.
For a team that's scored four goals in three games thus far in this series, the Blues can certainly use Vladimir Tarasenko's goal scoring ability.