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Banged-up Canucks intend to stay the course

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- The Vancouver Canucks begin a five-game road trip with some questions to answer when they face the Winnipeg Jets on Friday at MTS Centre.

The Canucks have lost two games in a row and are trying to fend off four teams, including the Jets, chasing them for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"Right now, we're facing what every team goes through at some point in the year," said right wing Alexandre Burrows, who has not scored a goal this season in 23 games. "Right now, we're in it. But we're sticking together. We're 20 guys who are going to push together to get out of it, and we're confident that we're going to get it done."

Interim coach Mike Sullivan will also be manning the Canucks' bench for the final time in place of John Tortorella, who will complete his six-game, 15-day suspension in time for their next game Monday against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Canucks' battered blue line will be without Kevin Bieksa (foot) and Christopher Tanev (hand). To supplement the defense corps, the Canucks recalled defenseman Frank Corrado from the American Hockey League's Utica Comets on Thursday. Corrado, a 20-year-old rookie, logged six NHL games earlier in the season.

Captain Henrik Sedin (rib) will miss his sixth consecutive game while center Mike Santorelli (shoulder) is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery Thursday. Forward Dale Weise will be a healthy scratch, and Kellan Lain will play.

The Jets, who are 6-2-0 with new coach Paul Maurice, will attempt to right themselves after a 4-3 loss against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Maurice has stressed process over results since his arrival.

"We're going to hit some bumps, but that doesn't mean we've changed direction," Maurice said after the Jets' morning skate. "Right now, we're playing a fairly high-energy, fairly focused game. The focus in terms ... of the way we're going to play, it's going to take a while to get those systems in place."

Maurice's message has also taken hold inside the Jets' dressing room.

"I think we have confidence in the way that we've played in the last little while," captain Andrew Ladd said. "I think that's something that we're trying to instill -- a loss shouldn't change that at all. We should be a confident group that understands that if we play a certain way, we'll be successful."

Left wing Eric Tangradi, who has sat out eight straight games as a healthy scratch, will play his first game since Jan. 11 and skate on the fourth line. Tangradi will replace Eric O'Dell, who will return to the team Friday after the birth of his daughter Thursday. Left wing Evander Kane (hand) remains out of the Jets' lineup and will not return until after the Olympic break.

Eddie Lack will start for the Canucks against the Jets, who will counter with Ondrej Pavelec.

Here are the probable lineups for the Canucks and Jets:


Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - Zack Kassian

Daniel Sedin - Jordan Schroeder - Alexandre Burrows

David Booth - Brad Richardson - Jannik Hansen

Tom Sestito - Zac Dalpe - Kellan Lain

Alexander Edler - Jason Garrison

Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Ryan Stanton - Frank Corrado

Eddie Lack

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Dale Weise

Injured: Andrew Alberts (upper body), Kevin Bieksa (foot), Henrik Sedin (ribs), Mike Santorelli (shoulder), Christopher Tanev (hand)


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Chris Thorburn - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Devin Setoguchi - Olli Jokinen - Dustin Byfuglien

Eric Tangradi - James Wright - Anthony Peluso

Zach Bogosian - Tobias Enstrom

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Adam Pardy - Keaton Ellerby

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Eric O'Dell, Zach Redmond

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Matt Halischuk (forearm), Evander Kane (hand), Jim Slater (sports hernia)

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