Mired in one of their worst slumps of the year, the Blues received some tough news on Thursday as captain David Backes was ruled out of tonight’s game against Minnesota with an injured foot.

The Blues are reeling lately — 5-5-0 in their last 10, losers of three straight — and have seen their once-comfortable lead atop the Central Division whittled away to just two points. Colorado heads into tonight’s action with 109 points to St. Louis’ 111, and each team has three games remaining in the regular season.

(The Avs also hold the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker over St. Louis, 46 to 43.)