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Canucks' Baertschi recalled, could make playoff debut

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com

CALGARY -- Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi could make his debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against his former team.

Baertschi, selected in the first round (No. 13) in the 2011 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames, was recalled from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League and could play for Vancouver in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round best-of-7 series that resumes Tuesday at Scotiabank Saddledome (10 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports).

"He'll be here tonight," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "It'll be a game-time decision if we are using him or not."

A spot might've opened up for Baertschi in Vancouver's morning skate. Forward Alexandre Burrows left practice early and was taken away from the rink on a stretcher via an ambulance.

"Burrows sustained an upper-body injury and was taken to hospital after practice this morning for precautionary reasons. Will not play tonight," the Canucks announced via Twitter.

There was no further comment on Burrows' situation from Vancouver.

Baertschi could step in to face the team that parted with him at the NHL Trade Deadline two months ago.

The Canucks acquired Baertschi, 22, from the Flames on March 2 in exchange for Vancouver's second-round pick in the 2015 draft. At the time of the trade, Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said the deal was made to facilitate Baertschi's request.

"Sven is a great young man," Flames coach Bob Hartley said Tuesday. "He grew up in our organization with the Johnny Gaudreaus, Paul Byrons, and Jiri Hudlers and everything. We kind of got caught in a jam where we had to make a decision. Obviously, his agent was not very happy, so we satisfied everyone and we traded him to the Canucks. If Sven is in, he's a great young man and we wish him the best."

Baertschi played 15 games with the Flames in 2014-15, recording four assists. He added seven goals and 15 points in 15 games with Utica and two goals in three games in a late-season stint with the Canucks. The goals came against the Edmonton Oilers in Vancouver's final game of the regular season.

Baertschi has 10 goals and 30 points in 69 NHL games.

Forward Chris Higgins, another former member of the Flames, isn't sure how Baertschi will react should he get into the lineup to face Calgary.

"I think it's different for each individual," he said. "Guys react differently. Some guys enjoy it and some guys loathe it, so I'm not really sure where Sven falls on the spectrum there. But I think it's maybe a little bit easier in playoffs. Everyone is playing physical, so it doesn't matter if you're friends with a guy on the other team. I think you can play him as hard as you want."

Desjardins expects Baertschi to channel the energy of his first NHL playoff game and facing his former team.

"I think emotions are always great, but you have to have the mindset to control it," he said. "If your mindset is strong then you can play with a lot of emotion. I think he's a good young player, I think he'll be excited to play, and he'll be ready for it."

Here are the projected lineups:

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata

Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Sven Baertschi

Ronalds Kenins - Bo Horvat - Jannik Hansen

Shawn Matthias - Brad Richardson - Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Luca Sbisa - Kevin Bieksa

Eddie Lack

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Linden Vey, Brandon McMillan, Ryan Stanton

Injured: Zack Kassian (back), Alexandre Burrows (upper body)

FLAMES

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Sam Bennett - Mikael Backlund - Joe Colborne

Michael Ferland - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Brandon Bollig - Josh Jooris - Mason Raymond

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

TJ Brodie - Deryk Engelland

Tyler Wotherspoon - David Schlemko

Jonas Hiller

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Markus Granlund, Corey Potter, Drew Shore

Injured: Ladislav Smid (upper body), Paul Byron (lower body), Mark Giordano (torn biceps tendon), Raphael Diaz (lower body), (lower body), Lance Bouma (upper body)

Status update: The Canucks held an optional practice Tuesday with 11 skaters and both goaltenders.

Who's hot: With a goal and two assists, Horvat has points in each of his first three career playoff games. He's the only Canucks player in the series to have points in each game.

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