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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

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres