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Conference Final

Dunn day to day for Blues, may miss Game 4 against Sharks

Loss of defenseman, hit in mouth by shot in Game 3, could hurt St. Louis bid to tie series

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Vince Dunn is day to day with an upper-body injury, putting his status in question for the St. Louis Blues when they host the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at Enterprise Center on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).

The defenseman was struck in the mouth by a shot from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon in the first period of the Blues' 5-4 overtime loss in Game 3 on Wednesday. Dunn immediately dropped to the ice, dropped his gloves and stick and needed help to the locker room, bleeding from his mouth.

San Jose leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.

 

[RELATED: Complete Sharks vs. Blues series coverage]

 

Dunn, who has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games, has been a key member of the Blues defense corps. He plays the point on the power play and would be a key loss if he is out for any length of time.

"He's very important," St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. "He's a guy that plays a lot of different situations, always on the power play. [At full strength], he's a guy that can skate and move the puck, helps to get it out of your end pretty clean. 

"I don't know how long he'll be out or what the deal is yet, but he's a guy who's played really well for us all year. When something like that happens, it's never good, but it's something you can rally around and it's going to be an opportunity for someone else."

If Dunn cannot play in Game 4, the likely candidate to replace him would be Carl Gunnarsson, who has not played since sustaining a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Dallas Stars.

Video: WCF, Gm3: Sharks @ Blues

Gunnarsson has been skating and coach Craig Berube said Wednesday he would be ready to go if needed.

Also, Michael Del Zotto, who has yet to play this postseason, is waiting for an opportunity.

"We've had guys come in and out of the lineup really all year," Bouwmeester said. "We feel like we're pretty deep as a group on defense. It's opportunities this time of year. Opportunities pretty much present themselves every night. I think if anything, we can kind of use that as a team to rally around it. He's a likeable guy. Everyone likes him in the room. I think you try and use it that way."

Dunn, in his second NHL season, had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 78 regular-season games and was second in scoring among Blues defensemen behind Alex Pietrangelo (41 points; 13 goals, 28 assists). 

He played four shifts and 2:13 before leaving Game 3, and St. Louis played the rest of the game with five defensemen; Pietrangelo led Blues defensemen with 31:57 of ice time, Colton Parayko played 29:49 and Bouwmeester 27:51.

"Obviously it's tough," Parayko said. "He's been dynamite for us all season and all playoff long. It's tough to see [Dunn] go down, but just us five, we continued to manage our time and we have quick shifts, short shifts and just play hard and continue to stay in the game that way."

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