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Sharks forward Hertl to miss Game 4

San Jose could use Karlsson in his spot on top line against Pittsburgh in Cup Final

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent


Stanley Cup Final

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-7 series 2-1

TV: 8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks left wing Tomas Hertl will not play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at SAP Center on Monday because of a lower-body injury.

It will be the second straight game Hertl misses because of the injury, which he sustained in the third period of Game 2.

Melker Karlsson is expected to open the game in Hertl's spot on the top line. But Sharks coach Peter DeBoer shortened his bench and juggled his lines early in the third period of Game 3 with San Jose trailing. Second-line center Logan Couture joined center Joe Thornton and right wing Joe Pavelski on the top line, and the
Sharks went on to win 3-2 in overtime. They trail the best-of-7 series 2-1.

"It helped us the other night sure," DeBoer said Monday. "It would be similar to them moving [Sidney] Crosby, [Evgeni] Malkin and [Phil] Kessel together. You have three great players playing together. But in order to do that, that hurts you in other parts of the lineup. You have to be comfortable you can survive doing that with the other parts.

"We got away with it the other night. We shortened the bench. We had some guys I thought give us some real supreme efforts underneath that group. But I don't know if that's something that we can go to all the time."

Center Chris Tierney moved into Couture's place between left wing Patrick Marleau and right wing Joonas Donskoi. Center Nick Spaling moved to the third line and skated with Joel Ward and either Karlsson or Matt Nieto, who rotated.

Ward's goal tied the game 2-2 at 8:48 of the third period. Donskoi scored at 12:18 of overtime, with Tierney getting an assist.

"I think most guys are comfortable playing with different guys on the team," Tierney said. "It's happened. I think guys are just ready to go no matter who they're out there with. It gives you a little jolt sometimes playing with new guys and just freshening things up.

"You got three elite players and really dangerous players on one line. They all could be the best players on different NHL teams. You got them all on one line at the same time, it's pretty lethal. When that happens you just got to make sure you're doing a good job behind them."

Here are the projected lineups:


Conor Sheary - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Olli Maatta - Ben Lovejoy

Ian Cole - Justin Schultz

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Injured: Kevin Porter (ankle surgery), Scott Wilson (lower body), Trevor Daley (ankle)

Scratched: Jeff Zatkoff, Derrick Pouliot, Oskar Sundqvist, Beau Bennett, Kael Mouillierat, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Daniel Sprong, Tristan Jarry


Melker Karlsson - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joonas Donskoi

Matt Nieto - Chris Tierney - Joel Ward

Dainius Zubrus - Nick Spaling - Tommy Wingels

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Paul Martin - Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak

Martin Jones

James Reimer

Injured: Tomas Hertl (lower body)

Scratched: Micheal Haley, Dylan DeMelo

Status report: Hertl is day-to-day, according to DeBoer, and was not on the ice for San Jose's optional morning skate. He hasn't skated since taking a few tentative laps Friday, when he appeared to have a wrap on his lower left leg. ... Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he anticipated having a similar lineup Monday to the one he used in Game 3 but did not rule out a change. "You'll see the lineup at warmups, like we always do," Sullivan said. ... Letang and Maatta were the only Penguins who didn't practice Sunday but are expected to play. Maatta was bruised blocking a shot from Burns in the first period of Game 3. "It's just a bruise," Maatta said Monday. "Obviously you take those. I'm fine. I feel fine. I'm ready to go tonight."

Who's hot: Braun had a goal in Games 2 and 3 against Pittsburgh, marking the first time in his NHL career he has scored in back-to-back games. ... Ward has five goals in his past five games. ... Lovejoy had a goal and an assist in Game 3 against the Sharks, and has one goal and three assists in his past five games. ... Sheary has two goals in his past three games, including the overtime goal in Game 2.

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