Sharks' Joonas Donskoi Is Game-time Decision for Game 5 Vs. Avalanche

SAN JOSE – After a missing five straight playoff games, it's looking like Joonas Donskoi will see some game action for the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer called the Finnish forward a game-time decision for Game 5  of their second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday evening. Donskoi himself said he is available to be penciled into the lineup. 

No. 27 has been missing from game action for five straight contests after sustaining an undisclosed injury in the Sharks' first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights. Donskoi has skated on and off at practice since then, but he did not accompany the team on their trip to Denver for Games 3 and 4 against the Avs. 

Donskoi told the press Saturday at Sharks' morning skate that it's "difficult to say" if his health was progressing by the day, but the forward added: "It's been day-to-day, and yesterday it felt really good."

Although he has been out of the lineup for the first four games of Team Teal's second-round series against Colorado, Donskoi still has an idea of what playing against the Avs will be like when he returns to the lineup.

"It's a fast game," he observed. "We have a really fast team against us."

The Sharks held an optional skate ahead of Game 5, so there's no exact indication as to where Donskoi would play if he is available Saturday evening. Before being injured, he skated on Tomas Hertl's line along with Evander Kane. 

[RELATED: Sharks have to put more pressure on Grubauer in Game 5]

In other injury news, Sharks' captain Joe Pavelski remains out of the lineup as he recovers from the injury he sustained in Game 7 against Vegas. DeBoer said No. 8 is "getting better" and starting to skate on a regular basis, but he's not ready to pencil him back into the lineup.

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