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As expected, Kesler ready for Game 6

Monday, 06.13.2011 / 12:55 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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As expected, Kesler ready for Game 6
BOSTON -- Not that there was much doubt, but Ryan Kesler confirmed he'd be in the lineup for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) after he took part in the Vancouver Canucks' optional practice Monday morning here at TD Garden.

Coach Alain Vigneault said Sunday he expected Kesler to play. Every member of the Canucks' top two lines used Monday's practice to rest except Kesler, who participated without limitations during the 30-minute workout.

Kesler suffered an apparent groin injury during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks, but returned during the series-clinching victory to score the tying goal with 13.2 seconds remaining in regulation. The Canucks received a week off before the start of the Stanley Cup Final, giving Kesler plenty of time to rest the injury.

But Kesler hasn't had the same jump in his stride against the Boston. In five games, he has just one assist and is a minus-3. He looked to find his skating stride during Game 5, so perhaps the two days off prior to Game 6 will help.

During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kesler has 7 goals and 12 assists in 23 games. He helped hold Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to 1 goal and 3 assists in seven first-round games.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
Quote of the Day

I first met him when I was 19 years old and he coached me for 13 consecutive years. I don't know how many athletes who have had that pleasure. Al Arbour was a man that left us not only feeling like champions, but left us with a lot of great memories that we can carry on through life.

— Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin on former coach Al Arbour, who passed away Friday at the age of 82