The San Jose Sharks saw forward Tomas Hertl, who boasts 11 points through 20 postseason games thus far, skate for just a few minutes during the team’s practice on Friday – and they saw him do so in a track suit, rather than full equipment like his teammates.
Now, there’s confirmation that his day off – called a ‘maintenance day’ by head coach Peter DeBoer, as Hertl was reportedly slightly ‘dinged up’ – will lead to his absence from the lineup in game three against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Kevin Kurz of CSN reported, via Twitter, that Hertl will sit out game three. The reason he’s out is presumably the same issue that caused him to miss most of practice on Friday, although the team won’t list a specific injury at the moment. Per Mark Purdy of the Mercury News, he’ll be replaced in the lineup by either veteran Dainius Zubrus or by Melker Karlsson.
Drafted 17th overall by the Sharks in 2012, Hertl has quickly become a key piece in the Pacific Division club’s offensive lineup. Since entering the NHL in 2013, the forward has racked up 49 goals and 102 points in 200 regular season games, contributing with another 16 points in 27 postseason appearances.
The Sharks will host the Penguins at the SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday evening at 5:00 PM PST. They head into the third game of their series against the Eastern Conference Champions down 2-0 in the best-of-seven.