Moved up from defense to play third line left wing because of injuries to six forwards, Ballard will join them in the infirmary after fracturing his foot in a 1-0 shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, and won’t play Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche.
“Ballard suffered a very, very, very minor fracture to his foot last game -- not exactly sure when and how,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “If this was playoff hockey he would probably be able to suck it up and play, but considering it is quite painful right now we are going
to give him a couple of days. It’s not something that is long term, it’s day to day, very minor.”
Ballard will be replaced up front by the return of Steven Pinizzotto, who missed four games with an illness. Ballard’s spot on the left side of the third line will go to Chris Higgins, who drops from the No. 1 line, while Alexandre Burrows moves back to his usual spot alongside Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin.
Here are the rest of the expected lineups for Thursday night, when the Canucks host an Avalanche team that played in Calgary the night before:
Scratched: Cam Barker
Notes: Kassian is skating and listed as day to day: “I would say real close,” Vigneault said.
Ryan O’Byrne - Shane O'Brien
Notes: Playing on consecutive nights and two games into a run of five games in seven days, the Avalanche are expected to start backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere after he watched the loss to Calgary on Wednesday. … Stastny, who was hurt blocking a shot against Vancouver on March 24, is out approximately 10 days. Jones is day-to-day and with the team.