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At the Rink blog

Tortorella juggles Canucks lines looking for spark

Friday, 11.22.2013 / 4:42 PM

By Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Tortorella juggles Canucks lines looking for spark

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella is changing up his forward lines for the fourth time in as many games. That juggling will include splitting up Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin against the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night.

With six goals scored during a five-game losing streak (0-3-2), Tortorella admitted he's just trying to find a winning mix.

"We're throwing it up against the wall here a little bit and we'll see what sticks," said Tortorella, who also split up Mike Santorelli and Chris Higgins.

Henrik will center Higgins and Jannik Hansen, who scored on Tuesday in his second game back after missing 10 with a shoulder injury. Daniel, who has 15 shots his past two games, will play on the left side of Santorelli and Ryan Kesler while Alexandre Burrows, who hasn't scored this season, drops from the first line to the third.

"Although Daniel [Sedin] is filling the sheet with shots, it just hasn't worked of late, along with other people. So we'll split them up and see where we go," said Tortorella, who will also make David Booth a healthy scratch for the second straight game. "One thing I know that works is Mike Santorelli and Higgins, but again they haven't scored."

The injury-ravaged Blue Jackets will get forward Matt Calvert back after missing 19 games with an abdominal injury, but will probably be without defenseman James Wisniewski, who leads the team with 16 points, after he woke up feeling sick and missed the morning skate.

"More than likely he's not playing," coach Todd Richards said.

Third-line wing Derek MacKenzie is a game-time decision with an upper-body injury for the Blue Jackets, who are also without Marian Gaborik (knee) and prized free-agent addition Nathan Horton, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery but is with the team and skating. Forward Brandon Dubinsky, who hurt his foot against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, was sent back to Columbus for treatment.

MacKenzie's status will determine where Calvert starts in his return, but his gritty style will be welcomed by a Blue Jackets team that is 3-1-3 in its past seven games, with the lone regulation loss an embarrassing 7-0 final against the Oilers on Tuesday.

"Based on his play and what we know he can do, he should be a lift for us," Richards said, "But sometimes when you have missed that amount of time your timing is off, your conditioning might be off a little bit. So we'll have to wait and see as far as what impact he'll have."

Here are the projected lines for the Blue Jackets and Canucks:

BLUE JACKETS

Cam AtkinsonArtem AnisimovBoone Jenner

Nick FolignoRyan JohansenR.J. Umberger

Blake ComeauMark LetestuDerek MacKenzie/Matt Calvert

Matt Calvert/Jack SkilleMichael ChaputJared Boll

Fedor TyutinJack Johnson

Ryan MurrayTim Erixon

Nikita NikitinDavid Savard

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Jack Skille (if Derek MacKenzie plays)

Injured: Derek MacKenzie (upper body, game time decision), James Wisniewski (illness), Brandon Dubinsky (foot), Nathan Horton (shoulder), Marian Gaborik (knee), Dalton Prout (back)

CANUCKS

Daniel SedinMike SantorelliRyan Kesler

Chris HigginsHenrik SedinJannik Hansen

Zack KassianBrad RichardsonAlexandre Burrows

Tom SestitoJeremy WelshDale Weise

Alexander EdlerJason Garrison

Dan HamhuisChristopher Tanev

Ryan StantonKevin Bieksa

Roberto Luongo

Eddie Lack

Scratched: David Booth, Andrew Alberts, Zac Dalpe

Injured: Jordan Schroeder (foot)

Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie