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Canucks lose Higgins, Tanev indefinitely

Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 3:26 PM / News

NHL.com

Just as the Vancouver Canucks were getting closer to having a healthy roster, two more names were added to the injury list.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told reporters Tuesday that forward Chris Higgins and defenseman Christopher Tanev are out indefinitely with lower-body injuries and will not join the team on an upcoming five-game road trip.

"We hope to have Higgins back for playoffs," Vigneault told reporters. He also said he's not sure if Tanev can be back by then.

Higgins has 10 goals, which is tied for second on the team, and 15 points in 38 games this season. Tanev has two goals and seven points in 38 contests.

Vancouver, which is atop the Pacific Division with 50 points, has been rolling of late and recently welcomed back key forwards Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond to the lineup.

Without Tanev the Canucks have one right-shot defenseman in Kevin Bieksa. While Jason Garrison has adjusted nicely to playing the right side as a left shot alongside Dan Hamhuis on a top pairing, none of the three options on the third pairing -- Cam Barker, Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts -- have looked comfortable playing on the right.

Higgins, who signed a four-year, $10 million contract extension last Tuesday, arguably has been the Canucks' best forward the past four games, scoring once and adding two assists while piling up 18 shots on goal. Higgins, who played in the final minute Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes, looked to have developed some nice chemistry with newcomer Derek Roy on a line with Jannik Hansen.

Tanev was injured on a hit from Calgary Flames forward Tim Jackman in the first period of a 5-2 win Saturday night. He went to the dressing room, but returned for the second period and finished the game.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery