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At the Rink blog

Defenseman Hamhuis returns for struggling Canucks

Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 12:44 PM

By Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Defenseman Hamhuis returns for struggling Canucks

TORONTO – The Vancouver Canucks are hoping to start the break during the 2014 Sochi Olympics on a high note. The Canucks have lost six straight games and are winless in 15 of the past 19 games as they face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Center on Saturday.

Injuries have been a major problem for the Canucks, but they’ll have defenseman Dan Hamhuis back in the lineup against the Maple Leafs after he missed the past three games with an upper-body injury. Vancouver is still without four other defensemen in Kevin Bieksa, Christopher Tanev, Yannick Weber and Andrew Alberts.

The Canucks had a very light morning skate with just Eddie Lack and Roberto Luongo on the ice taking shots. Luongo was off the ice first and will likely get the start.

Fortunes have been different for the Maple Leafs. Toronto has won 10 of their past 13 games and sits one point behind second-place Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs have been led by the scoring of Phil Kessel, who has 13 goals and 30 points in the past 20 games.

The Maple Leafs did not hold a morning skate. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start for the sixth straight game.

Here are the projected lineups for the Canucks and Maple Leafs:

CANUCKS

Daniel SedinJordan SchroederAlexandre Burrows

Chris HigginsRyan KeslerJannik Hansen

David BoothBrad RichardsonZack Kassian

Tom SestitoZac DalpePascal Pelletier

Alexander EdlerRaphael Diaz

Jason GarrisonDan Hamhuis

Ryan StantonFrank Corrado

Roberto Luongo

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Yann Sauve, Kellan Lain

Injured: Henrik Sedin (ribs), Mike Santorelli (shoulder), Kevin Bieksa (foot), Christopher Tanev (thumb), Yannick Weber (upper body), Andrew Alberts (concussion)

MAPLE LEAFS

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Nikolai KuleminNazem KadriJoffrey Lupul

Mason RaymondJay McClementDavid Clarkson

Frazer McLarenJerred SmithsonTroy Bodie

Carl GunnarssonDion Phaneuf

Morgan RiellyTim Gleason

Jake GardinerCody Franson

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Scratched: Paul Ranger, Colton Orr

Injured: Carter Ashton (hand), Dave Bolland (cut tendon), Trevor Smith (hand) , Peter Holland (lace bite)

Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets