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At the Rink blog

Henrik Sedin games streak in jeopardy

Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 4:27 PM

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

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Henrik Sedin games streak in jeopardy

VANCOUVER -- Henrik Sedin's ironman streak is in jeopardy at a time when the Vancouver Canucks really need their leading scorer.

Coach John Tortorella said Sedin, who leads the team with 40 points, will be a game-time decision against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. Already playing through a finger injury on his left hand and wearing a splint on his pinky finger, Sedin left a 1-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period Thursday after taking a late cross-check in the ribs from Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal and did not return.

Sedin took part in the morning skate at Rogers Arena, including power-play drills, but said afterward no decision had been made on his status. The fact he didn't come back with the Canucks on the power play for the final four minutes of the 1-0 loss in Phoenix said a lot for a player who hasn't missed a game in almost 10 years, a streak of 678.

"That's when you want to be out there for sure, but I wouldn't have been any help for our team if I was out there," Sedin said. "This is the time when you don't want to miss out, you want to be there, and that's what every guy feels who plays a team sport."

Vancouver has one win in its past nine games, and is coming off a three-game road trip when the Canucks were shut out 1-0 twice and lost 9-1 to the Anaheim Ducks.

Vancouver will get top-line right wing Alexandre Burrows back more than six weeks after breaking his jaw in a Dec. 1 game, and goaltender Roberto Luongo said he is a game-time decision after missing six games with a sprained right ankle.

Tortorella said center Mike Santorelli, who was injured late at Phoenix, won't play.

Santorelli, who is fourth in team scoring with 10 goals and 28 points, was spotted with a sling on his right arm after the game but wasn't wearing one when he watched the morning skate Saturday. Santorelli's injury and the Canucks slump increase the pressure for Sedin to play, but like the ironman streak he downplayed it.

"It wouldn't feel good sitting out but we'll see what happens tonight," Sedin said.

Sedin has played in a franchise-record 678 straight games dating to March 21, 2004. It's the second longest active NHL streak behind St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (682), and the sixth longest stretch of all time. Sedin has played nine consecutive NHL seasons without missing a game, as well as two Olympics, two World Championships and a season in Sweden, but Tortorella bristled at a question about the streak.

"No, you've got him all wrong. This guy is a pro," Tortorella said. "I don't even want to answer that question, that's an insult to him."

If Sedin does play, he would have a familiar face back on his line, Burrows. He has been skating for two weeks and will wear protection over his jaw, but the top-line wing also missed a month early this season with a broken foot and hasn't scored in 17 games.

"The intensity and energy will be there," Burrows said. "Just maybe the timing and reading plays will be the toughest challenge."

Luongo, who played one of the past 10 games because of separate injuries, was the first goaltender off the ice, and the morning drills pointed to him starting. But Luongo said he wasn't sure.

"Ankles are a bit tricky," said Luongo, who had his wrapped in tape. "I wouldn't be playing if I wasn't feeling ready. We'll see how it reacts this afternoon and make that decision close to game time."

The Flames are close to getting a couple key players back.

Forward Blair Jones will return after missing 19 games following knee surgery, and coach Bob Hartley said defenseman Kris Russell, who hasn't played since a Dec. 21 knee injury, and forward David Jones, out since Jan. 3 with an eye infection, are cleared to return. Each skated Saturday, but neither will play against the Canucks.

"There's no way we're going to take a chance and put any one of our guys in the lineup if we feel that fitness-wise they are not at the top," Hartley said. "Conditioning-wise, we just want to make sure."

Blair Jones will take Ben Street's spot centering the fourth line, but could see time on the wing on the second or third line.

Here are the rest of the projected lineups:

FLAMES

Jiri Hudler - Mikael Backlund - Lee Stempniak

Paul Byron - Sean Monahan - Joe Colborne

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - TJ Galiardi

Kevin Westgarth - Blair Jones - Brian McGrattan

TJ Brodie - Mark Giordano

Chris Butler - Ladislav Smid

Dennis Wideman - Shane O'Brien

Karri Ramo

Reto Berra

Scratched: Derek Smith, Ben Street

Injured: Mike Cammalleri (concussion), David Jones (eye), Kris Russell (MCL sprain), Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain)

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik SedinAlexandre Burrows

Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - Zack Kassian

David Booth - Brad Richardson - Jannik Hansen

Tom Sestito - Kellan Lain - Dale Weise

Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev

Alexander Edler - Kevin Bieksa

Jason Garrison - Yannick Weber

Roberto Luongo

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Zac Dalpe, Joacim Eriksson

Injured: Mike Santorelli (upper body), Andrew Alberts (upper body), Ryan Stanton (ankle), Jordan Schroeder (ankle)

Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks