St. Louis Blues left wing Paul Kariya might come back for Game 4. ((Mark Avery/Associated Press))

St. Louis winger Paul Kariya took part in the team's morning skate on Sunday, but missed the Blues' 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night.

The Canucks now take a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final matchup.

Kariya is coming off hip shoulder surgeries that have kept him off the ice since November, making any playoff comeback unlikely. But Blues head coach Andy Murray has been telling people privately that he's just waiting for Kariya to say he's ready to play.

"I feel really good, a lot stronger than I have, really, since 1999," Kariya said.

When asked when he might be back, Kariya responded: "We'll see."

Unlikely? Perhaps. But sources told Hockey Night in Canada 's Scott Morrison on Sunday that Kariya might be ready as early as Game 4.

Kariya has 16 goals and 23 assists in 46 career playoff games. The 13-year veteran had his best post-season run in 2002-03 when he led the underdog Anaheim Ducks to the Stanley Cup finals, where they fell to the New Jersey Devils in seven games.