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Stanley Cup Final

Ryan Ellis' status for Predators unclear entering Game 6 of Final

Defenseman sustained undisclosed injury in second period of loss to Penguins on Thursday

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- There was no update on Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis' status for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Ellis sustained an undisclosed injury in the second period of a 6-0 loss to the Penguins in Game 5 at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

Ellis got up slowly and appeared to have trouble moving after getting tangled with Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist 3:20 into the second period. Ellis finally made it to the bench at 3:58, and a trainer appeared to be working on Ellis' back on the bench before he exited to the locker room.

 

[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Penguins series coverage]

 

Ellis walked out of the Predators locker room during their media availability at Bridgestone Arena on Friday and appeared to be moving OK.

Ellis is third in the NHL among defensemen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 21 games, and his five goals is second among defensemen, behind teammate Roman Josi (6).

Ellis is fourth on the Predators with 23:23 ice time per game this postseason. Matt Irwin is fifth with 12:04 per game, so there would be a significant drop off if Ellis is unable to play Sunday.

"He's a great player," Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said of Ellis. "He's taken more steps this year and he's a leader on our team, and he's a guy that logs big minutes for our group and he's been tremendous throughout the whole playoffs and throughout the season."

Irwin would likely move up into the top four in Ellis' place, as he did during the regular season when P.K. Subban, Roman Josi and Ellis missed games with injuries. Irwin has played primarily on Nashville's third pair with Yannick Weber when all of their defensemen have been healthy.

"Whatever happens happens," Weber said. "Hopefully [Ellis will] be fine and ready to go next game."

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