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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Kesler set to make season debut for Canucks

Monday, 10.17.2011 / 3:34 PM / News

NHL.com

Ryan Kesler will make his 2011-12 season debut Tuesday night when the Vancouver Canucks host the New York Rangers.

The reigning Selke Trophy winner had offseason surgery on his hip, which plagued him during the final game of last season's Western Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He rejoined the Canucks at practice Monday and declared himself ready to return.

Kesler spent Monday on a line with Cody Hodgson and Chris Higgins and on the team's top power-play unit with Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

To make room on the roster, the Canucks sent 21-year-old defenseman Chris Tanev to Chicago of the AHL.

Kesler is coming off a career season in which he had 41 goals and 73 points. In the playoffs, the Livonia, Mich,, native had 7 goals and 12 assists in 25 games. He scored the series-clinching goal in the Western Finals to eliminate the San Jose Sharks in six games.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round