Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard sat out Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in favor of rookie Chris Tanev.
The move comes after Ballard, who played in only three games over the last two rounds, was a minus-2 with two penalty minutes in Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
“When we've used Chris this year he's real steady [and] can make a first pass at the forecheck,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said before Friday's game. “He's a kid that is playing in Manitoba, and we got in injury trouble and he came up and did a real solid job for us.”
Tanev, 21, played in 29 regular-season games and five postseason games with the Canucks. He played in the final two games of the Western Conference Finals after defensemen Aaron Rome and Christian Ehrhoff went down with injuries.
The Canucks are now without Rome for the duration of the playoffs after he was suspended earlier this week for a check that left Boston’s Nathan Horton with a concussion. Vancouver is also without Dan Hamhuis, who went down with an undisclosed injury in Game 1 if the Finals and hasn’t played since.
Hamhuis didn’t take part on Friday’s pre-game skate, but Vigneault said he would make the trip as the series shifts back to Boston for Monday’s Game 6.
-- A.J. Perez