GAME 3: McCann out of non-contact jersey, Kraken ready for 6:30 puck drop

Arizona Coyotes v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 03: Alex Wennberg #21 and Jared McCann #19 of the Seattle Kraken talk during the second period against the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena on April 03, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Forward Jared McCann is making progress. But likely, there will be no game three involved. 

The 40-goal scorer in the regular season for the Seattle Kraken, who has missed the last five postseason games with an undisclosed injury, participated in morning skate with the Kraken on Sunday, ahead of game three of the second against Dallas. McCann was seen in a regular white jersey, a clear indication of imminent return to game action after first appearing with the team in a Saturday optional skate, wearing a red non-contact jersey. 

McCann, who rotated into several line rushes during morning skate, was one of the last skaters to leave the ice on Sunday, participating in extra drills with routine scratches at the end of the morning. Head coach Dave Hakstol indicated there was no update with McCann’s official injury status ahead of the 6:30pm puck drop at Climate Pledge Arena. 

“A positive step,” said Hakstol, referencing McCann’s upgrade to the regular-colored jersey. 

McCann exited game four in the first round against Colorado after a late hit by defenseman Cale Makar, decked into the corner after McCann was stopped on a breakaway and watched as the puck flew out of play. Makar was issued a one game suspension for the hit and missed game five in Denver, won by the Kraken before ousting Colorado in seven games. 

“He’s making really good progress,” said defenseman Vince Dunn. “Definitely a key piece we’re missing. I think a lot of guys have stepped up to fill his role a little bit. We’re definitely excited to see him back out there with us.” 

“I’m just there to be a friend and not really ask how he is, because that can be frustrating for him.” 

Rookie Tye Kartye, called up from AHL Coachella Valley for game five, has two goals in five postseason games – a fine start to his NHL career – while slotting in place for McCann. 

The Kraken and Stars are tied in the series, 1-1. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer, 5-4 in the postseason with a .917 save percentage, was the first goaltender to leave the ice at morning skate, a likely indicator he will start in net. 

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