San Jose Sharks released the highly controversial game 4 in St. Louis Blues and one of the most important moments for the team to play in Game 5 would be Eric Carlson's status.
The star blueliner missed half of January, half of February, and throughout March with a long trauma groin and during a Friday game it turned out to react.
Carlson finished the match at 25:09 on ice – Brent Burns was the only skater in each team to enter more time on ice – but in the second half of the third period there was a stretch where he remained on Sharks bench, apparently in discomfort, more than seven consecutive minutes.
The two-time Norris Trophy winner returned to the ice for the final 1:55 in the third frame after the additional striker once the goalkeeper Martin Jones was pulled, but he worked hard and was not as mobile as he was in the game.
"I have nothing for you there," said Sharks chief coach Peter DeBoer to reporters after asking about Carlson's health status.
If Carlson is forced to miss any moment, or if his mobility greatly reflects ahead, it will be a huge blow to the back of San Jose.
Carlson, who only competed for 53 regular season games, just moved in the post-season. The upcoming unlimited free agent scored twice in game 3 on Wednesday, including the overtime winner, and regained his team's only goal on Friday to bring his playoffs a total of 16 points in 18 games.
The Western Final Final is now the best of the three with Game 5, which will take place on Sunday afternoon at SAP Center.