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Blues' Backes not ruled out for Game 3

Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 2:52 PM

By Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent / Blues-Blackhawks series blog

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Blues' Backes not ruled out for Game 3

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- If Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks was Sunday, one thing is certain: Blues captain David Backes would not be playing in it.

Backes, who was injured on a hit by Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook with 4:51 remaining in the third period, did not take the ice Sunday at the Blues' training facility inside the Ice Zone at St. Louis Outlet Mall for an optional skate.

"All I know is he's upright and that's about it right now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We don't have any further information and probably won't have until late [Monday]."

Backes, who did not return to the game, missed time earlier this season with concussion-like symptoms. The Blues didn't disclose the extent of the injury and Hitchcock would not rule Backes out for Game 3 on Monday in Chicago (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, RDSI, FS-MW, CSN-CH).

"I have no idea. I have no idea right now," Hitchcock said. "I know one thing: He couldn't play [Sunday]."

Seabrook was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for charging. He was suspended three games Sunday following a phone hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

Center Patrik Berglund, who missed the final regular-season game and Games 1 and 2 with an upper-body injury, skated for the second time in three days. With Backes possibly having to miss time, Berglund's return to the lineup would come at an opportune time and be a boost for the Blues.

"It gets better and better. It feels better and better too," Berglund said. "Hopefully, I'll be back soon."

Berglund would not say if Game 3 was a possibility for a return, and with the Blues holding a 2-0 series lead, there was question if it would make sense to rest him more.

"That doesn't matter," Berglund said. "When I feel good, I'm ready to play. We'll see when that is.

"I told the boys [Saturday] I can't take this anymore. Hopefully, I will heal fast and be able to help them out on the ice. It's easier that way."

The Blues received a scare in the third period Saturday when center Vladimir Sobotka was involved in a knee-on-knee collision with Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell, who was assessed a minor penalty on the play. Hitchcock described Sobotka, who assisted on Barret Jackman's game-winning goal in overtime, as "average right now."

Quote of the Day

He stuck his neck out there for us. I don't know what's wrong with him, but you see he was in pain. But he went back in there. He's a tough guy. You've got to give him credit for helping the boys out.

— Panthers forward Brandon Pirri on goalie Roberto Luongo, who returned to game on Tuesday against Maple Leafs after leaving earlier in the contest with an injury