NEWS
06/04/2016 09:25 EDT | Updated 06/05/2017 01:12 EDT

Sharks without injured Hertl for critical Game 3; Karlsson or Zubrus to fill in

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tomas Hertl will not play for the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.

Hertl did not practise Friday morning because of a lower-body injury and will be unavailable to play on Saturday evening, according to Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer.

DeBoer called him perhaps the Sharks best player through the first two games of the final, which sees San Jose down 2-0 ahead of the first Stanley Cup final home game in team history.

The 22-year-old fills the left side of the Sharks top line, a big, strong effective force alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.

Hertl had two shots in more than 20 minutes in a Game 2 overtime loss and has six goals and 11 points in the post-season. He had a career-high 21 goals and 46 points during the regular season.

"It's tough to miss a guy like that if you have to," Pavelski said. "But somebody steps in. We've done it. We've done it for a while."

Hertl is likely to be replaced on the Sharks first unit by either 25-year-old Melker Karlsson or veteran Dainius Zubrus, both of whom have spent time with Thornton and Pavelski before.

"I know how to play (with them) if that's the case, if I'm going in there, because I've played with them before," Karlsson said after practice Friday. "I'm ready to go if that's the case."

It's unclear when exactly Hertl was first injured. He played right up until the final few moments of overtime on Wednesday night, a 2-1 loss for the Sharks.