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Canucks Report: Bieksa's Back

by Colin Hope / Vancouver Canucks

Bieksa's Back

For the first time in five games the Canucks can expect to have Kevin Bieksa patrolling the blueline as the defenceman says he feels ready to go for tonight's matchup with the Nashville Predators.

The 31-year-old defenceman has been out with a nagging groin injury he suffered the last time the Canucks faced the Predators, February 22nd in Nashville.

"It's been a tough stretch at times but we are coming off a gritty, chippy win in Columbus and looking to get back on track and play some good hockey," said Bieksa.

The Canucks struggled without Bieksa in the lineup, winning just one of the five games he was out of the line-up.

"I don't think I'm the savior. The answer is definitely in this room right now. I've had some long injuries before where the team has done well so I don't buy that argument."

Bieksa skated alongside Andrew Alberts at the team's morning skate. Should Bieksa be in the line-up tonight, Cam Barker will join Keith Ballard as defensive healthy scratches.

Riding the Hothand

Roberto Luongo will start in net for the second consecutive game following his 2-1 shootout win over Columbus on Tuesday.

Luongo shutout the Predators 1-0 in the their only other matchup this season and he expects another low-scoring affair.

"We played them a few weeks ago and saw what kind of game it was." said Luongo "They play a great system and they don't give up much."

Pinizzotto Debut?

Steve Pinizzotto was recalled from the Chicago Wolves early Thursday and Alain Vigneault said the 28 year-old could possibily make his NHL debut tonight.

Alain Vigneault has been impressed with what he has seen from the Mississauga, Ontario native.

"In camp he was an energy player. He got in real hard on the forecheck and had a physical edge to his game. He's got a real decent skill set."

Pinizzotto is expected to arrive in Vancouver later today, so if he does dress that will mean Tom Sestito will be scratched.

When asked how he expects Pinizzotto to feel should he put him in the line-up, "a 28 year-old rookie? Pretty excited," chuckled Vigneault.

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