Canucks may be without Salo in Game 7

It appears the Vancouver Canucks will have to play Game 7

against Chicago on Tuesday night without injured defenseman Sami

Salo.

Head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t confirm the absence of Salo,

who left four shifts into Game 6 on Sunday with an undisclosed

injury, saying only that he was day-to-day. But several Canucks

players indicated the veteran defender wasn’t playing.

Defenseman Kevin Bieksa said that Vancouver is obviously a

better team with Salo but ”we plug in whoever we plug in and we

play the same way.”

Salo, 36, missed the first four and a half months of the season

recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon, but was Vancouver’s best

all-around defenseman the year before. He had one goal in the first

five games of this series.

Defenseman Keith Ballard, a surprise healthy scratch the last

two games, said he was told during the morning skate that he would

be playing Game 7.

Chicago will be without forward Bryan Bickell, who is out six to

eight weeks after surgery Monday to repair a lacerated tendon in

his right wrist. Bickell was cut by a skate blade in Game 2 and

missed Game 3, but returned to score two goals and four points

before he had to come out.

Blackhawks forward Tomas Kopecky, out since Game 1 with an

upper-body injury, skated Tuesday but head coach Joel Quenneville

said he wouldn’t play.