© St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
May 3, 2002
The Blues were without two of their peskiest players Thursday for Game 1 of their series with Detroit. One was expected, the other wasn't.
Winger Dallas Drake, who suffered a concussion early in Game 4 of the Chicago series and also missed Game 5, sat out the game. The Blues saw that one coming. On Thursday morning, they learned that winger Tyson Nash, who figured to move up to the checking line in Drake's place, had the flu.
Nash arrived at Joe Louis Arena for the morning skate Thursday, but he was sent home before even taking the ice.
With Drake and Nash out, Jamal Mayers, who figured to take some shifts on the checking line, moved into the spot regularly. Sergei Varlamov and Daniel Corso, who had yet to play in the postseason, joined Ray Ferraro on the fourth line. Ferraro, who has played center since arriving in St. Louis, moved to right wing, with Corso playing center.
Neither Varlamov nor Corso has seen much playing time lately. Both played in the meaningless final game of the season against Detroit as coach Joel Quenneville rested many of his regulars. (Corso had the game-winning goal.) Before that game, Varlamov had been scratched from the previous 13 games and Corso had been scratched for 12 of 13, making his only appearance when Keith Tkachuk was suspended by the league.
It was the first playoff game of Varlamov's NHL career. Corso played in 12 of the Blues' 15 playoff games last season.
The Blues are targeting Drake to be back for Game 2 on Saturday. Nash's return is uncertain depending on how soon he recovers.