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Stanley Cup Final

Sanford will replace Sundqvist for Blues in Game 3 of Cup Final

Thomas, Dunn remain out against Bruins

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Zach Sanford will replace Oskar Sundqvist in the St. Louis Blues lineup against the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN).

Sundqvist, a forward who has nine points (four goals, five assists) in 21 Stanley Cup Playoff games this year, was suspended for one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety for boarding Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in the first period of Game 2 on Wednesday, a 3-2 overtime victory by St. Louis that evened the best-of-7 series. Grzelcyk is day to day in the NHL concussion protocol and did not travel to St. Louis.

"He's got some experience this year in the playoffs," Blues coach Craig Berube said of Sanford. "He's a good defensive player, penalty killer, so that was one of the reasons we went with him."

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Sanford, a forward, played the first three games against the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference First Round but none since. He has no points in the playoffs.

"Obviously this is every kid's dream growing up, and it's been a crazy road so far through the playoffs, and it's awesome to be here," said Sanford, a native of Salem, Massachusetts, who grew up a Bruins fan. "I'm really excited for [Saturday].

"The guys who haven't been playing have done a good job of holding each other accountable. We've been skating, working out. It's a little different when you get into a game. Personally, I think I feel pretty good."

Blues forward Robert Thomas and defenseman Vince Dunn, will not play. Thomas did not play in Game 2 because of an undisclosed injury. Dunn has missed five games because of an upper-body injury.

Video: Sanford on entering Blues' lineup for Game 3 at home

"I really didn't know what happened to me at first," Dunn said Friday. "It was just kind of like a blow to my head. It was just pretty scary for me, and obviously, it [stinks] to go out that way when you're not expecting it, but it's just the nature of the game."

Dunn, who has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 16 playoff games, said he isn't sure when he will return but the decision will be his.

"It's hard to say right now," Dunn said. "It's obviously a whole other level right now in the Final and when I come back, I want to make sure I was the player that I was when I came out. I think the guys are doing a great job right now. Our [defensemen are] is playing great, our team's playing great, so that's all that really matters to me."

Forward Robby Fabbri will remain in the lineup after playing in Game 2, his first playoff game since May 3 against the Dallas Stars. 

The Blues are expected to keep their defense pairings intact from the third period of Game 2. Carl Gunnarsson skated with Alex Pietrangelo on Friday, and Joel Edmundson skated with Robert Bortuzzo.

"I just think in the past we've put them together at times and they've had good success and they have good chemistry together and they worked out again," Berube said. "You just make decisions sometimes when you go along. It's a gut feeling. (Assistant) Mike Van Ryn makes that call a lot of times. He runs the [defense] and it's just a gut feeling a lot of the times making that switch."


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