Ryan Kesler partakes in Monday skate

BOSTON -- Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler returned to the ice Monday as part of an optional morning skate, and coach Alain Vigneault expects him to play in Game 6.

Kesler was held out of practice Sunday.

"He's fine, just gave him a day off, that's all," Vigneault said Sunday, departing slightly from his monolithic refusal to discuss player injuries.

Kesler is widely thought to be playing with an injured groin that requires extensive treatment when he isn't on the ice. He appeared to get hurt during the Canucks' clinching Game 5 victory in the Western Conference finals, and the injury might be one reason he has managed just one point in the Stanley Cup finals after scoring 18 in the West playoffs.

"He's a tough player who's going to keep fighting through whatever is in front of him," said Mason Raymond, Kesler's linemate. "We know we can count on him."

Depth forward Jeff Tambellini and injured defenseman Dan Hamhuis also skipped Sunday's workout at TD Garden. Hamhuis hasn't played since Game 1 after getting hurt while throwing a low check, and the Canucks have refused to provide any information about the top defenseman's injury.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.