Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Canucks' Salo may play in Game 4

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks

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Sami Salo has yet to appear in the Vancouver-Nashville series. (Genevieve Ross/Associated Press) Sami Salo has yet to appear in the Vancouver-Nashville series. (Genevieve Ross/Associated Press)
By Tim Wharnsby, CBC Sports

Injured Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo is a possibility for Game 4 against the Nashville Predators on Thursday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8:30 p.m. ET).

The Canucks lead the second-round series two games to one after a 3-2 overtime win two nights ago.

Salo is still officially listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury (believed to be a leg ailment), but he has skated hard the past few days and left the morning skate before fellow blue-liners Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts.

All Salo would say is that whether or not he plays will be a game-time decision.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault also remarked that his lineup won't be revealed until the warm-up. The six-player defence unit for the Game 3 victory was Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff, Alex Edler, Aaron Rome and Alberts.

"We have eight healthy defencemen and we'll play the six we feel will give us the best chance to win tonight," said Vigneault, when asked what Ballard has to do to get himself back in the lineup.

Salo, 36, has been out of action since departing midway through the first period of Game 6 in the first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

One area the Canucks were more effective in last game than the previous two outings against the tight-checking Predators was involving the defence more in cycles in the offensive end of the rink.

This was evident in Ryan Kesler's first of two power-play goals, when he was set up by a dandy move from Ehrhoff.

Wilson in for Nashville

With veteran left wing Steve Sullivan doubtful for the rest of the season with a knee injury, the Predators will turn to 21-year-old Colin Wilson for Game 4.

The second-year NHLer played all 82 games in the regular season, but has yet to dress for a game in this playoffs.

"The last 20 games his play fell off and others stepped up," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

Wilson, the son of former Calgary Flames forward Carey Wilson, scored four times and had nine points in the 32 games after the all-star break.

Pressure on?

With the Tampa Bay Lightning already having advanced to the next round and the two other series at 3-0, does this put the pressure on the eventual winner of the Canucks-Predators to finish their series as quick as possible?

Vigneault said his team's only concern remains the Predators. Trotz stated a quick series would be ideal, but that comes with experience.

"When you have a veteran team you know the importance of getting four wins quickly," Trotz said. "It's important to get your rest and you have more time to prepare for the next series."