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Samuelsson out, Henrik Sedin and Higgins ready

By Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

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Samuelsson out, Henrik Sedin and Higgins ready
A lower-body injury is expected to sideline the forward for Game 1 against the Sharks, but Chris Higgins and Henrik Sedin -- who haven't been skating -- appear to be good to go.
VANCOUVER B.C. -- The Vancouver Canucks announced Friday afternoon that veteran forward Mikael Samuelsson will not start the Western Conference Finals due to a lower-body injury.

The injury is believed to involve the 34-year-old Swede's left leg, and was re-aggravated when he collided with Nick Spalling of the Nashville Predators in the first period of Game 5.

"I would say he's (likely) not going to start the series," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

Samuelsson did not start the first round of the playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks either -- at the time, the team said he was battling with a bout of the flu.

Samuelsson missed six games in March with a similar lower-body injury after being injured in a March 18 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Samuelsson has not skated with the team since they returned to the ice on Thursday.

He was seen leaving Rogers Arena on Wednesday afternoon with a noticeable limp in his left leg.

The news is better for forwards Chris Higgins and Henrik Sedin -- neither has skated since the Canucks closed out the Predators, but both are expected to skate Saturday.

Higgins blocked a Kevin Klein point shot in Game 5 against the Predators and has been nursing a left foot injury.

"It's good that we had a couple days off to rest up," he said. "A couple guys haven't been skating, but everyone should play. I'll be fine. I played with it already for one game."

Despite telling the media he's fine and just using the days between series as rest, it's believed Sedin is also nursing some sort of ailment.

Both Higgins and Sedin are expected to be in the Canucks lineup for Game 1 on Sunday.
Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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