As the Anaheim Ducks try and take a 3-2 series lead over the Dallas Stars, they'll be without the services of Hampus Lindholm. The team announced before Friday's Game 5 that the defenseman would be out after suffering from a stiff neck:
Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reported that Luca Sbisa would take Lindholm's place in the lineup:
Luca Sbisa taking Lindholm's place, which appeared to be the case this morning.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 26, 2014
The Associated Press' Greg Beacham wondered how much the 20-year-old's absence would hurt, given his rather poor performance so far in the series:
Ducks D Hampus Lindholm is sitting out Game 5 with a stiff neck, but he's also scoreless with a minus-3 and not playing particularly well.— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) April 26, 2014
Struggles are to be expected with such a young player, though. During the regular season, Lindholm's 24 assists were second-most on the team among defesemen. He's taken little time to become a key part of the team, and many fans will agree that the Ducks are better with him on the ice.
Given the relatively minor nature of the injury, Lindholm shouldn't be off the ice for very long. Expect him to be on the ice for Game 6 on Saturday.