The Vancouver Canucks fell 4-2 to the Blackhawks in Chicago last night and lost three players to injuries. Sami Salo
, Darcy Hordichuk, and Pavol Demitra all sustained injuries. The team is regrouping for the match-up tomorrow in Columbus.
Salo tweaked his groin during yesterday's pre-game skate. He remained in the lineup to start the game, before the injury forced him to leave the game midway through his second shift.
"I thought I could go, but it didn't feel good on the first shift and in the middle of the second I had to leave," said Salo. "I've had a groin injury twice before and they're tricky. But it's very important. It affects everything you do out there. If you can't skate, you can't play."
Hordichuk suffered a knee injury after Ryan Johnson was clipped by Blackhawk Colin Fraser and fell into Hordichuk. He is believed to have sustained a mild MCL sprain.
Demitra also left the game early with a rib injury, which head coach Alain Vigneault described as a rib contusion. He was in considerable pain following the game.
"I was just reaching for a puck and all of a sudden I felt an unbelievable pain in my side," said Demitra.
Finally, Rick Rypien, who has played in the first five regular season games and scored two goals including a short-handed breakaway in the season opener, participated in the morning skate before being sent home to Vancouver with a suspected viral infection for further examination.
Matt Pettinger and Kyle Wellwood have been recalled from Manitoba to replace the injured forwards in tomorrow's game in Columbus. The pair need to clear re-entry waivers before rejoining the team for tomorrow's match-up against the Blue Jackets. Rob Davison or Lawrence Nycholat will fill in for Salo.
Despite losing 4-2 to the Blackhawks and 5-2 last Friday in Buffalo, both games following the teams stellar effort in Detroit, Vigneault believes that there were positive aspects of the Canucks play yesterday.
"We out-chanced them almost 2-to-one," said Vigneault. "We got a couple of bad bounces. We put a puck in the net on one of their power plays. The other went off a post and off [Luongo's] back pad and in. And the other one went off Kevin's skate right to their player."
Star goaltender Roberto Luongo
has had a slow start to the season, but isn't worried.
"For some reason, it's the way it goes at the beginning of the year for me," said Luongo. "I don't know why. Even though I'm feeling good, I'm feeling sharp and I'm reading the puck well, the puck seems to be taking weird bounces at almost every goal.
"I don't know what it's all about. I guess it's a test of my character. I just have to fight through it. I can't get discouraged. If I was fighting the puck, I would be worried. But I'm not. My luck is going to turn around eventually."