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Evans traveling to Vegas with Canadiens for Golden Knights

June 12, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this May 1, 2021, file photo, Montreal Canadiens' Cole Caufield (22) celebrates with teammate Jake Evans after scoring against the Ottawa Senators during overtime of an NHL hockey game in Montreal. Caufield was dominating college hockey in late March and by late May was a regular in the lineup of the most storied franchise in the NHL, helping the Canadiens advance to the third round of the playoffs. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
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FILE - In this May 1, 2021, file photo, Montreal Canadiens' Cole Caufield (22) celebrates with teammate Jake Evans after scoring against the Ottawa Senators during overtime of an NHL hockey game in Montreal. Caufield was dominating college hockey in late March and by late May was a regular in the lineup of the most storied franchise in the NHL, helping the Canadiens advance to the third round of the playoffs. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
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FILE - In this May 1, 2021, file photo, Montreal Canadiens' Cole Caufield (22) celebrates with teammate Jake Evans after scoring against the Ottawa Senators during overtime of an NHL hockey game in Montreal. Caufield was dominating college hockey in late March and by late May was a regular in the lineup of the most storied franchise in the NHL, helping the Canadiens advance to the third round of the playoffs. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

MONTREAL (AP) — Montreal forward Jake Evans, who has not played since sustaining a concussion on a hit by Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele on June 2, will accompany the Canadiens to Las Vegas for their Stanley Cup semifinal series against the Golden Knights.

Interim Canadiens coach Dominque Ducharme said Saturday that Evans, defensemen Jeff Petry (hand) and Jon Merrill (lower-body injury) are traveling with the team.

Ducharme had said Friday he wasn’t very confident they would dress for Game 1 on Monday night.

Evans has been out of the lineup since the final moments of Montreal’s 5-3 win over Winnipeg in the second-round series opener against the Jets. The crushing blow left Evans facedown on the ice and he was taken off the ice on a stretcher. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety handed Scheifele a four-game suspension.

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The Habs swept the Jets in four games. Vegas beat the Colorado Avalanche in six.

Evans is getting back to game shape, working out in the gym and skating, Ducharme said.

“He’s got a couple more steps to go, but he’s heading in the right direction,” Ducharme said.

The Canadiens believe Evans could make his return in three or four days but are being cautious.

“With that kind of injury you never know, there could be setbacks at any time. We’re not taking anything for granted,” Ducharme said. “The most important thing is for him to be 100 percent.”

Evans has one goal in four playoff games this season. The 25-year-old from Toronto had three goals and 10 assists in 47 regular-season games this year.

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