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Sami Salo returns to Canucks' lineup for Game 6

by Dan Rosen /
VANCOUVER -- Defenseman Sami Salo is indeed in the Vancouver Canucks lineup for Game 6 tonight roughly 48 hours after leaving United Center via ambulance for a Chicago area hospital with an injury to his groin region.

Salo was struck in the midsection by Duncan Keith's point shot in the waning moments of Game 5 Sunday night. He left the ice hunched over and had to be taken on a stretcher to the ambulance. At first it was reported that he suffered a ruptured testicle, but that was not the case and clearly the injury is not all that serious.

The Canucks' veteran defenseman surprised everyone, including his own teammates, by taking the pre-game skate this morning at GM Place. Coach Alain Vigneault, who does not disclose injuries, called him a game-time decision, but after taking warm-ups before the game the Canucks announced Salo would be in the lineup.

A roar carried through the stands at GM Place when the announcement was made.

Salo will be paired with his usual defense partner, Alexander Edler. The Canucks are not even dressing seven defensemen as precaution, which some teams sometimes do when a blueliner is banged up.

Lawrence Nycholat would have been Salo's replacement. He hasn't played an NHL game since March 22, 2009, with Colorado. Salo has a goal and five assists in the playoffs. He's averaging about 22 minutes of ice time per night and plays in all situations.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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