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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Canucks' Salo out for Game 4

Thursday, 05.07.2009 / 1:58 PM / Conference Semifinals: Vancouver vs. Chicago

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO - Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo did not participate in the Canucks afternoon skate at United Center and was declared "out" by coach Alain Vigneault.

He will be replaced along the blue line by Ossi Vaananen, as was the case in Game 3 on Tuesday when the Canucks scored a 3-1 victory. Vigneault wouldn't go into specifics about Salo's injury or even why he made the trip to Chicago if he wasn't going to play, but a majority of the media members on hand at The Peninsula Hotel this afternoon suspect it had to do with the fact the Canucks currently hold a 2-1 lead in the series.

If the club was trailing in this best-of-7 series, Salo might have been inserted into the lineup. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound Finn, who has 3 goals and 6 points in 5 postseason games, was scratched from Tuesday's lineup with a lower-body injury.

Following Wednesday's optional skate, in which Salo participated, he spoke to the media.

"I'm putting no percentages on my availability to play, but if everything goes well (at Thursday's afternoon skate), there's a good chance," Salo explained. "We'll see how it is in the morning and make a decision later on in the day."

Well, Salo never skated in the morning and Vigneault made it very clear that his top-four defender would be sidelined for Game 4.

"He didn't skate so he's not playing (Thursday)," Vigneault said.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery