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St. Louis Blues left wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) skates toward the action during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Arnold J. Ward)

There was a time -- Nov. 5, to be precise -- when the St. Louis Blues totaled six players having tested positive for COVID-19 this season.

Now, only five players on the roster have yet to get it.

Pavel Buchnevich is the virus' latest victim. The Blues announced that he has been added to the league's COVID protocols Friday, the morning after the forward scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1, comeback win over the Seattle Kraken.

Buchnevich, 26, has emerged as one of St. Louis' most dynamic offensive players since being obtained from the New York Rangers in a July trade for Sammy Blais and a draft pick. He has 14 goals, tied with All-Star Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko for the team lead, and is third in assists (21) and second in points (35).

In related moves, the Blues recalled forward Dakota Joshua from their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, under emergency conditions and assigned forward Alexei Toropchenko and defenseman Calle Rosen to the taxi squad.

The Blues played with only 11 forwards Thursday when it was determined late in the day that Logan Brown couldn't go with a non-COVID illness. It is not yet known whether Brown will be available for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Nor is it known whether Tarasenko or defenseman Scott Perunovich will pass the necessary tests to return from COVID protocols. Neither was ready Thursday.

Three other players -- defenseman Colton Parayko and forwards David Perron and Brayden Schenn -- have been in COVID protocols since early this week.

Oh, and about those five players who have escaped COVID thus far: One of them is Kyrou, who was selected Thursday to play in the NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 5. Another is forward Robert Thomas, who is one of eight Central Division nominees for the "Last Men In" fan vote.The others are defenseman Marco Scandella, forward Klim Kostin and Brown.

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