While elite defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Tomas Hertl are officially ruled out for Game 6, Joe Pavelski will be a game-time decision for the San Jose Sharks.
The San Jose Sharks will be short-handed for Game 6, hoping to fend off elimination from the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final at Enterprise Center.
After Tuesday morning’s optional skate, head coach Peter DeBoer announced that Erik Karlsson and Hertl did not make the trip to St. Louis. In addition, Pavelski and Meier were not present during the team’s voluntary practice.
Karlsson, Hertl and Pavelski did not finish Game 5 with injuries during the 5-0 loss at SAP Center that gave the Blues a 3-2 series lead.
The last time No. 65 was on the ice in Game 5 came at the 7:04 marker of the second period, noticeably wincing in pain and discomfort on the bench after a rough first half. Karlsson is tied for second on the San Jose Sharks with 16 points in the postseason, including the controversial overtime goal in Game 3.
Hertl seemed to be unsettled after a head-level hit from Blues forward Ivan Barbashev near the midway point of the first period. Hertl stayed in the game during the middle frame, but did not take part of the final period of regulation.
The crafty Czech center has been a driving force in the postseason for Team Teal, racking up 10 goals and 15 points. However, No. 48 has been quiet in the Western Conference Finals, only tallying a power-play goal in the Blues crease that broke the shutout in Game 4.
Lastly it isn’t clear if Joe Pavelski will lace up the skates in Game 6 after the effects of Alex Pietrangelo’s hit late in the third period of Game 5.
The San Jose Sharks captain has faced the worst of the injuries this postseason, deflecting a goal off of his mouth in Game 1 in the first round against the Vegas Golden Knights and suffering a severe head injury and concussion in Game 6, which forced him to miss six games in the second round against the Colorado Avalanche.
On the flip side, Pavelski has also made the most of his time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, racking up four goals and nine points in 13 games and symbolizing the heartbeat of this unrelenting Sharks team.
San Jose’s depth will truly be tested to their limits in Game 6, and the San Jose Sharks will be looking for young players to step up. Marcus Sorensen, Tim Heed, Lukas Radil, Antti Suomela and Dylan Gambrell are all candidates to round out their lineup for Game 6.
This will be the ultimate battle to avenge the fallen. Who will rise to the occasion? Can Martin Jones turn in another magnificent goaltending display in enemy territory? Will Kane turn on the jets with his breakaway speed? How will Thornton’s playmaking wizardry set up Labanc’s dangles and snipes? All will be answered tonight at 5 pm PST.