The San Jose Sharks will be playing Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final without top-line winger Tomas Hertl, who will miss his second straight game with an undisclosed injury.
Coach Peter DeBoer confirmed Hertl’s absence Monday afternoon, but offered little in the way of an update. No details about the nature of his injury have been released, and the team hasn’t said how long they expect Hertl to be sidelined.
The injury is suspected to be a lower-body issue sustained during the third period of Game 2 in Pittsburgh.
In his place, Melker Karlsson has played on the top unit alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Karlsson has been a contributor, even if it’s not showing on the scoresheet. His physical forecheck in overtime of Game 3 directly led to Joonas Donskoi’s game-winner.
Drawing into the lineup as the extra forward in Game 3 was veteran Dainius Zubrus, who was stapled to the bench along with Tommy Wingels late in Game 3. Zubrus saw just 9:15 of ice time and 13 total shifts, the second fewest he’s seen in the postseason.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.