The status of Blues defenseman Vince Dunn is uncertain, not only for Friday but for the rest of the series, after he took a puck to the face midway through the first period of Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to San Jose in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
Dunn was stationed near the front of the Blues’ net when a wrist shot by Brenden Dillon struck him in the face. Dunn stumbled over the bench with a bloody mouth and had to be helped through the tunnel to the locker room for treatment.
He did not return for the remainder of the game, forcing the Blues to get by with just five defensemen for 2 ½ periods.
Besides damage to his teeth, it’s possible Dunn has a broken jaw and/or a concussion. Coach Craig Berube provided no details Thursday except to say Dunn was “day-to-day right now.”
Dunn, 22, is one of the Blues’ top puck-movers and offensive threats from the blueline. He had 12 goals and 23 assists and was plus-14 during the regular season. So far in the playoffs, he has two goals, five assists and is minus-3.
“He’s a guy that plays a lot of different situations, obviously on the power play,” defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. “Five on five, he’s a guy that can skate and move the puck, and helps to get out of your end pretty clean.
“I don’t know how long he’ll be out or what the deal is yet, but he’s a guy who’s played really well for us all year. When something like that happens, it’s never good, but it’s something you can rally around, and it’s going to be an opportunity for someone else.”
Carl Gunnarsson, who told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday that he was healthy and ready when called upon, is the likely replacement for Dunn.
NO LUCK ABOUT IT
In the first round of the playoffs, a five-minute major penalty in Game 7 against Vegas allowed the Sharks to get back in the game and advance to the second round. In Round 2, an offside challenge wiped out a goal by Colorado that would have tied the game. And then there was that illegal hand pass by Timo Meier on Wednesday night.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer resents the suggestion that his team has been lucky.
“You know, you play 60 minutes of hockey,” DeBoer said. “This team, it irks me when you use words like that because this team has played four or five elimination games — not moments. Twelve to 15 periods of elimination hockey against Vegas, against Colorado in Game 7, so I think it’s a ridiculous statement.
“I heard (Carolina coach) Rod Brind’Amour speak out about it, I read an article, and I thought he said it best: Those things happen so quickly on the ice, and there are so many bodies flying around and there are split-second decisions and it’s easy when we sit there on the bench or you guys look at a TV monitor and criticize and hold people accountable for errors that happen in milliseconds.
“You know what? We’ve found a way. And we’ve faced a lot of adversity. We’ve had calls go against us and we’ve had calls go for us, and we’re still standing. For anybody to minimize that, I think is disrespectful to our group and what we’ve done.”
ARMSTRONG A FINALIST
Doug Armstrong has been named a finalist for the NHL’s general manager of the year award.
Other finalists are Boston’s Don Sweeney and Carolina’s Don Waddell.
LOST IN THE CHAOS
In Wednesday’s game, defenseman Colton Parayko became only the second player in Blues playoff history with three assists in an NHL “final four” game, joining Ab McDonald from 1970.
The Blues’ four-goal second period was their first period of four or more goals in the playoffs since they scored five in the second period of Game 6 of the 2000 conference quarterfinals against … San Jose.
David Perron’s two-goal performance marked the first multi-goal playoff game of his career.