Canucks forward Kesler out 'a couple of weeks'

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler has a sprained knee and is out "at least a couple of weeks," coach John Tortorella said Friday.

Kesler left a 3-2 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday after sustaining the injury in a knee-on-knee collision with Jets forward Jim Slater late in the second period.

"Nothing we can do about that. Upside is that it gives others an opportunity," Tortorella said.

Kesler is the Canucks' top goal-scorer with 22, and has 40 points in 67 games.

The Canucks, who are four points behind the Dallas Stars for the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, play the Washington Capitals on Friday.

The Canucks will have forward Zack Kassian after a three-game suspension.

"I'm excited to come back and help the team any way I can. It was tough watching," Kassian said. "I feel I've grown as a player but I have a lot to learn. I'm just trying to get better every game."