Canucks defenceman Sami Salo is listed as day-to-day following his injury Sunday night in game five against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 35 year old who's averaged 20:45 TOI per game registering six points (1-5-6) this post-season took a shot to the groin in the dying seconds of the opening frame and needed help skating off the ice.
He was taken out of the arena on a stretcher to a Chicago area hospital to be evaluated and did not return for the remaining two periods. There is not yet any word on the extent of his injury.
If Salo is not cleared to play in game six on Tuesday, it will be recently recalled Lawrence Nycholat who will slot in the Canucks blueline. Aaron Rome and Nolan Baumgartner are still day-to-day with their injuries.
DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST
Vancouver’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, a victory that forced a Game 6 in Vancouver Tuesday, was achieved simply by the Canucks doing what they do best, scoring goals in front of a confident Roberto Luongo.
The Canucks captain, who entered the United Center Sunday clean shaven and focused, stopped 29 of 30 shots against Chicago.
Luongo joked with the media today following the team’s return to Vancouver. "If I didn't shave yesterday, I don't know if we would have been able to pull it off there."
The Canucks finished the season first in the West in goals with 272. Chicago was a score behind at 271. This post-season, Vancouver is second with 42 goals, and first with a 3.82 goals per game average, while Chicago is fifth with 35 goals and 3.18 goals per game.
Though Chicago (18) has netted two more goals than the Canucks (16) this series, seven of them have been on the power-play, including three straight power-play goals in game four last Friday. The Canucks bounced back in Game 5 denying the Hawks on all five trips to the penalty box.
Vancouver is number one when it comes to even-strength having scored 11 goals five-on-five compared to Chicago’s eight. The Canucks are tied for first with Detroit, both with 28 even strength goals while Chicago sits in third with 19.
The Canucks have allowed the least amount of goals five-on-five (15), while Chicago has allowed 21. However, Vancouver remains last in the league for the penalty kill with 15 goals against and a 67.3 PK%. If the Canucks can replicate their impressive game five penalty kill, their five-on-five production should take over, according to the numbers.
With all superstitions and numbers aside, the Canucks face an equally tough challenge as they did last year, being down 3-2 against the Hawks. The only difference was finishing one seed lower than Chicago in the regular season and entering the series as the underdog. After winning both road games in Vancouver, the pressure is on Chicago to close the deal, and the Canucks hope to take advantage of that.
The Washington Capitals, who ended the regular season at the top of the league with 121 points (54-15-13), lost in seven games in the first round to the eighth place Montreal Canadiens, who overcame a 3-1 deficit. Vancouver has started the comeback and hopes to tie things up on Tuesday.