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Sharks' Vlasic sits out practice with upper-body injury

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who missed Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday with an upper-body injury, did not practice Tuesday.

Vlasic's availability for Game 7 on Wednesday at SAP Center remains in doubt (10 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS2, NBCSN, PRIME, CSN-CA).

"[Vlasic is] getting treatments, and when he's better, he'll play," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Tuesday.

Vlasic was injured in Game 5 when he was checked into the boards by Kings forward Jarret Stoll with 5:51 remaining in the first period. Stoll also struck the side of Vlasic's head with his forearm after the initial hit.

Vlasic left the game and has not played since sustaining the injury.

Matt Irwin replaced Vlasic in the lineup for Game 6 at Staples Center. Irwin played 62 games in the regular season, but he made his 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in San Jose's 4-1 loss, which evened the best-of-7 series at 3-3.

"Matt came in and did a great job," San Jose defenseman Jason Demers said. "Everyone kind of stepped up. We didn't get the win, but there were a lot of positives on the defensive side for us, which we're going to have to build on [Wednesday]. I think we beat their forecheck pretty good last night. We just got to keep doing that tomorrow."

Irwin started all 12 of the Sharks' playoff games last season, including seven against the Kings.

"I thought Matty came in and played a pretty [darn] good game," McLellan said. "He's been sitting on the sidelines champing at the bit to get in. It's not an easy game to come into, first of all being on the road and in that environment and the intensity and the pace of the game is a little different than game 78 through 82, when things are basically locked down. He did a very good job."

Irwin had not played since April 12 in the Sharks' regular-season finale against the Phoenix Coyotes.

"I thought it was good," Irwin said of his first game in more than two weeks. "That first shift, you try to get your legs under you, you make a play, make a pass, make a hit, get hit, all those things that kind of get you back into the game after two weeks off with just practices. It was a lot of anxious moments leading up to it. I was excited to be back, and I just wanted to help the team."

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