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Sharks defenseman Vlasic sidelined for Game 6

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks will not have defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

The Sharks will use Matt Irwin to replace Vlasic, who left Game 5 with an upper-body injury from a hit by Jarret Stoll late in the first period. Vlasic did not skate and did not even have a locker stall in the Sharks dressing room. San Jose leads Los Angeles 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

"It's a loss to our hockey club, but it's one we can overcome," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "Good teams that have opportunities to win and move on overcome adversity, and this is one of those situations. We feel that Matt Irwin or Matt Tennyson can go into that position and play. They're different players. They're different levels of experience, but both of them have National Hockey League experience, and are capable of getting it done.

"It's not about the one you lose, it's about the collective group, as a whole, that has to pull together. We can overcome that loss."

McLellan did not know when Vlasic would be available. If needed, Game 7 is Wednesday night.

"I wish I could give you a time," McLellan said.

Vlasic was a member of Canada's gold-medal team in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and plays in the first pairing with Jason Demers. Defenseman Dan Boyle echoed McLellan that the Sharks will have to spread out the responsibility in a test of their depth.

"You don't try to replace one person, I don't think," Boyle said. "You just do what you can to be the best at what you do. Matt Irwin is coming in. He's very capable of handling himself out there, and we're just going to do the job as a unit."

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