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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

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie