ST. LOUIS -- Vince Dunn will return for the St. Louis Blues against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The defenseman has missed six games after being hit in the mouth by a shot from San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final on May 15.
"I just wanted to feel myself getting used to the speed of things," Dunn said after the morning skate Monday. "The more I practiced, the faster I was catching up to things. I've got to feel like myself out there. I want to be able to be effective and I want to be the player that I was when I was taken out."
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Dunn, who has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games, will be paired with Carl Gunnarsson, and Robert Bortuzzo will be a healthy scratch. Dunn could boost the power play, which is 1-for-10 in the series.
"He moves the puck as good as anybody on our team from our own end out transition-wise," Blues coach Craig Berube said of Dunn, who has three power-play assists in the playoffs. "Dunn has the capability of doing high-end things in the offensive zone sometimes. Not all the time, but there's just times where he can do things that wow you a little bit and make a great play or score a goal from nothing. He can make something from nothing a lot of the times in those areas."
The Blues, who trail the best-of-7 series 2-1 after a 7-2 loss in Game 3 on Saturday, will change their forward lines.
Oskar Sundqvist will play after he was suspended for Game 3 and replace Robby Fabbri, who played in Games 2 and 3. Sundqvist will center the fourth line with Ivan Barbashev and Alexander Steen. Zach Sanford will play with Ryan O'Reilly and David Perron on the second line. Sammy Blais, who had been playing on that line since Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Dallas Stars, will skate with Tyler Bozak and Pat Maroon. Robert Thomas will miss his third straight game with an undisclosed injury.
"Obviously I'm excited to be back in tonight," said Sanford, who had an assist in Game 3. "We've had some good chemistry in the past (on that line). I've been watching them play a lot this year and the same with them for me when I'm in. I've just got to bring the same mentality as the last game, be hard and physical and help recover some pucks and we'll be making some plays."
Added Berube: "I thought [Sanford] had a real good game. I think that was a real good line last game for us. I thought he was strong on the puck. He's good hands, he's got real good puck skills. I thought he had composure with the puck and he moves his feet and he was strong on it."