VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev could miss the rest of the season with a broken finger from blocking a Steven Stamkos shot against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.
"Probably 3-4 weeks,” coach John Tortorella said of the timeline for Tanev to return.
Vancouver has three-and-a-half weeks left in the regular season and heads into its game Wednesday against the Nashville Predators trailing the Phoenix Coyotes by five points for the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Canucks may need to win 10 of their final 11 games to have a chance at the playoffs but have four wins in their past 18 games.
"We certainly need to get a streak going or we're done," Tortorella said. "But let's just worry about starting one against Nashville."
It will be harder without Tanev, who is averaging 20:44 in ice time, including three minutes on the top penalty-killing unit, and leads the Canucks with 136 blocked shots in 64 games. He missed seven games through late February with a thumb injury sustained while blocking a shot.
Vancouver will get back center Brad Richardson after he missed seven games with an upper-body injury. Richardson is a welcome addition for a team that lost center Ryan Kesler to a knee injury in the first game of a four-game road trip that ended with a 4-3 loss to the Lightning on Monday.
"It's been tough for a long time," Richardson said. "Guys are working their [tails] off, so hopefully we can get a win and keep moving."
Nashville is four points behind Vancouver and nine behind Phoenix for the final wild-card position, after a 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. The Predators did not skate in Vancouver on Wednesday morning, but goalie Pekka Rinne is expected to start again after he was pulled midway through the third period against the Oilers after giving up five goals on 26 shots.
Rinne has started seven of eight games since returning from a hip infection that kept him out of the lineup more than four months.
Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack will start his 12th straight game for Vancouver, his ninth straight since becoming No. 1 when Roberto Luongo was traded to the Florida Panthers on March 4.
Here are the projected lineups:
Matt Cullen - Mike Fisher - Nick Spaling
Eric Nystrom - Colin Wilson - Craig Smith
Rich Clune - Paul Gaustad - Viktor Stalberg
Patric Hornqvist - Colton Sissons - Gabriel Bourque
Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Michael Del Zotto - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - Seth Jones
Scratched: Patrick Eaves, Victor Bartley
Alexandre Burrows – Henrik Sedin – Nicklas Jensen
Chris Higgins – Shawn Matthias – Jannik Hansen
David Booth – Brad Richardson – Zack Kassian
Tom Sestito – Jordan Schroeder – Zac Dalpe
Alexander Edler – Kevin Bieksa
Dan Hamhuis – Jason Garrison
Ryan Stanton – Yannick Weber
Scratched: Darren Archibald, Michael Zalewski
Injured: Christopher Tanev (broken finger), Ryan Kesler (knee), Daniel Sedin (lower body), Mike Santorelli (shoulder surgery), Andrew Alberts (concussion)