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Monday, April 14

Updated: May 19, 1:42 PM ET

Blues face absence of another defenseman

ESPN.com news services

The St. Louis Blues played most of the regular season without one of their top two defensemen. They played Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series without the other.

Al MacInnis
MacInnis

Defenseman Al MacInnis suffered an apparent right shoulder injury during Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks and didn't play in Game 3 on Monday night. The best-of-seven series is tied at 1.

The team described it as an "upper body injury," but recalled defenseman Tom Koivisto from Worcester of the AHL, where the 28-year-old Finn had two goals and four assists in 22 games.

"I don't want to speculate too far ahead of ourselves," Blues coach Joel Quenneville told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday. "We're strictly looking short term. It's day to day."

MacInnis was hammered into the boards by 245-pound Canucks left wing Todd Bertuzzi early in the first period and immediately favored his right arm. He went to the locker room and did not return.

The 39-year-old defenseman has been used against Vancouver's top line of Bertuzzi, Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison.

MacInnis took over as team captain this season, when former Hart and Norris Trophy Chris Pronger missed all but five games following wrist surgery. He held together a defense that played in front of seven goaltenders and helped Barret Jackman round into a Calder Trophy candidate.

"He's a big part of our team," Jackman said. "Any time you play a shift, a period or three periods without him, everyone's gotta step up."

MacInnis led all NHL defensemen in scoring during the season with 16 goals and 52 assists and likely will be a finalist for his second Norris Trophy.

"We've had a lot of injuries over the course of the year and we seem to find a way to win. So we're going to have to do it, but it's obviously a big loss for us," Pronger said. "He's an integral part of our team and our leader, so we're going to have to find a way to fill in."

SportsTicker contributed to this report.
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