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Canucks' H. Sedin to play, Miller out vs. Lightning

by Corey Long / NHL.com

CANUCKS (12-14-9) at LIGHTNING (17-14-3)

TV: TVA Sports, SNP, SUN

TAMPA -- Henrik Sedin will return to the lineup when the Vancouver Canucks play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

Sedin has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury but was a full participant in the Canucks' optional morning skate and said he's ready to go.

"[The injury is] much better and I should be good tonight," Sedin said. "You never want to test something in a game. I'm going in there feeling 100 percent."

Sedin said he should record his normal minutes and will have his usual role on his line and on the power play.

The return of the Canucks captain means he will have a few opportunities to go up against Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. Both are residents of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, and have plenty of familiarity with each other.

Sedin said Hedman has taken his game to another level.

"It's a lot of talk about [Hedman] winning the Norris Trophy this year," Sedin said. "I see him every summer. He's worked a lot on his game. He's [become] very reliable defensively."

Vancouver is finishing up a six-game road trip Tuesday and will not have the services of goalie Ryan Miller, out with muscle cramps after he was forced to leave the shootout Sunday against Florida.

Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said Miller could back up Jacob Markstrom, but the team called up Joe Cannata from Utica of the American Hockey League.

"We just don't want to push it right now," Desjardins said. "Could [Miller] backup? Probably, but it's not worth the chance."

Tampa Bay enters the second game of a six-game homestand and has won three of its past four games, including a 5-2 win against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.

"This is the time of the year that points are hard to come by," Lightning center Steven Stamkos said, "especially coming out of the break. Guys want to finish strong. We are looking at this six-game home stretch as an opportunity for our group to climb back in the playoff picture. We realize what these games mean at this time of year. Every point is important."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said his team will need to take advantage of the road-weary Canucks.

"We've seen teams that have come in here a little tired, and we have to take advantage of it," Cooper said. "They played a strong game in Detroit ... got some points in Florida. They've been kind of point-munching along the way."

Forward Cedric Paquette is probable to return to the lineup Tuesday, while Brian Boyle and J.T. Brown are likely out. Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin also remain injured.

Here are the projected lineups:

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Alexandre Burrows

Ronalds Kenins - Jared McCann - Radim Vrbata

Derek Dorsett - Adam Cracknell - Brandon Prust

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Yannick Weber - Ben Hutton

Alex Biega - Matt Bartkowski

Jacob Markstrom

Joe Cannata

Injured: Chris Higgins (undisclosed), Ryan Miller (cramps), Luca Sbisa (hand), Brandon Sutter (sports hernia surgery), Dan Hamhuis (facial fracture)

Scratched: Andrey Pedan

LIGHTNING

Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Callahan

Jonathan Marchessault - Cedric Paquette - Erik Condra

Mike Angelidis - Mike Blunden

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Matthew Carle - Braydon Coburn

Nikita Nesterov

Ben Bishop

Kristers Gudlevskis

Injured: Ondrej Palat (undisclosed), Tyler Johnson (undisclosed), Jonathan Drouin (lower body), Joel Vermin (hand surgery), Brian Boyle (upper body)

Scratched: Tanner Richard

Status Report: Higgins is doubtful after missing practice Monday and the team's optional skate Tuesday. ...The Lightning had many of their injured players participate in the morning skate, but Cooper ruled out anyone other than Paquette playing Tuesday.

Who's Hot: Stamkos scored two goals in the 5-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. ... Hansen had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers.

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