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At the Rink blog

Canucks ravaged by injuries as they face Canadiens

Thursday, 12.08.2011 / 1:40 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Canucks ravaged by injuries as they face Canadiens
MONTREAL -- The Vancouver Canucks arrive in Montreal for their matchup with the Canadiens tonight a battered bunch.

Two-thirds of their second line is out with injury, with David Booth slated to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL and Chris Higgins day-to-day with a staph infection in his foot.

As a result, Bill Sweatt, the 38th pick in the 2007 Entry Draft and a former Colorado College standout, will make his NHL debut against the Canadiens on the third line with Maxim Lapierre and Cody Hodgson.

Roberto Luongo gets the start in his hometown, where he hasn't won in his last three starts over three years. His last win in Montreal dates back to a shutout during the 2006-07 season, when Luongo spent the previous night in a local hospital after taking a shot in the throat in practice before beating the Habs 4-0.

Ironically enough, Luongo had to leave his last game after taking a shot in the throat as well, but the Canadiens are hoping history doesn't repeat itself. Overall, Luongo is 3-6-4 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .923 save percentage playing in his hometown. 

For Montreal, defenseman Yannick Weber will be a healthy scratch to make room for Frederic St-Denis. Weber was benched for the second half of the Canadiens 3-2 shootout loss to Columbus on Tuesday after he allowed R.J. Umberger to skate unfettered to the Montreal net and score the go-ahead goal on Carey Price.

Weber's main role is to help the power play with his booming shot, but he hasn't been very effective in that role lately and was taken off the first unit, making his defensive errors all the more glaring.

Price gets the start in goal to face the team he cheered for growing up in Anahim Lake, B.C.

Here are the likely lineups for the game:

CANUCKS
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
Mason Raymond - Ryan Kesler - Jannik Hansen
Bill Sweatt - Maxim Lapierre - Cody Hodgson
Dale Weise - Manny Malhotra - Andrew Alberts

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler - Sami Salo
Aaron Rome - Keith Ballard

CANADIENS

Mike Cammalleri - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Andrei Kostitsyn - Lars Eller - Travis Moen
Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen - Louis Leblanc

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Raphael Diaz
Hal Gill - Frederic St-Denis
Quote of the Day

A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery