Alexander Edler could be available for the Vancouver Canucks when they try to eliminate the St. Louis Blues from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Friday (9:45 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, FS-SW).
“I won’t say that he’s in, I won’t say that he’s out,” coach Travis Green said Thursday. “I will say I hope he’s in.”
The defenseman left Game 5 with 1:29 remaining in the second period after his face was cut by the skate of Blues forward Jordan Kyrou on Wednesday in Edmonton, the West hub city. The Canucks, seeded fifth, won 4-3 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series against the Blues, the fourth seed and the defending Stanley Cup champions.
[RELATED: Complete Canucks vs. Blues series coverage]
Teams that win Game 5 to take the lead are 211-58 (78.4 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL playoff series.
Edler is plus-1 with two shots on goal in 13:08 and has four assists in nine postseason games, two against St. Louis.
“Anytime when someone goes down and isn’t on the bench, you’re worried about him,” Canucks defenseman Jordie Benn said. “Obviously, it’s in the back of your head that you’re wondering if he’s going to come back, but you need the five guys that are out there to step up your game. You’re going to get more ice time and you’re going to be able to during critical situations.
“[Edler] was half-dressed when we came back into the room after, so he’s fine and ready to rock.”
Benn took nine shifts in the third period, playing 5:22 and 17:20 for the game. He’s been in the lineup since Tyler Myers left Game 2 after appearing to go headfirst into the boards on a hit by Blues forward Brayden Schenn 1:46 into the third.
Oscar Fantenberg skated nine shifts in 5:27 of the third and totaled 16:03 of ice time. Rookie Quinn Hughes played 26:43, 9:29 in the third.
“Outstanding,” Green said. “I think we all expected [Edler] to show up on the bench at some point. I thought to a man, our back end stepped to the plate. Everyone did their job and got a job done.”
“We’ve never been a team to dwell on injuries. It’s always been more of a mind frame of next man up. Benn coming in cold the way he did, I don’t think people can understand, that’s not easy to do. That’s one thing about veterans. They can understand the magnitude of maybe an injury or the situation you’re in, and there was never a doubt in Benn’s mind that he was ready to go. He’s shown some composure in areas of the game where he doesn’t panic with the puck.”