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Daniel Sedin to miss Thursday's game vs. Dallas

by Steve Hunt
DALLAS -- After taking an elbow to the head during an overtime loss at Chicago on Wednesday night, Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin is ruled out for Thursday's game at Dallas.

Daniel Sedin, who has 67 points, sustained an apparent head injury early in the first period Wednesday after Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith delivered an elbow to his head. Keith received an elbowing minor on the play.

Sedin travelled with the team to Texas, but was scheduled to fly back to Vancouver on Thursday afternoon for further evaluation.

With Daniel Sedin out, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault will be forced to shuffle his top line. Mason Raymond will likely move up from the second line to fill Sedin's spot alongside center Henrik Sedin and left winger Alexandre Burrows.

For the Canucks, who can clinch a playoff berth Thursday with a non-shootout win and regulation losses by Colorado and Calgary, it is just another test of the team's depth.

"The strength of our team is our depth, our ability for guys to step in, play different roles and play with different players all the time. Obviously he's a huge part of this puzzle and you can't replace a Daniel Sedin, but we'll have guys willing to step up, play those minutes and do the job," Canucks center Manny Malhotra said.

Vancouver (43-21-9, 95 points) held an optional skate Thursday morning at American Airlines Center with six players in attendance. One of those hitting the ice was Cory Schneider, who will start in goal Thursday for the Canucks.

"(Sedin is) such a key part to our team," Schneider said. "We're all hoping for the best. I don't think anyone really knows the extent of it or what he's feeling. But it's tough to see a guy go down with a really unnecessary play like that," Schneider said. "Stuff happens throughout the game and guys are going to get hurt throughout the course of a game, but to see something like that where it's just really unnecessary, it's just really going to hurt our team."

The Canucks have already faced the Stars twice this season and have lost both meetings, including a 3-2 overtime loss on Feb. 26 in Dallas and No. 1 goaltender Roberto Luongo was between the pipes for both of those contests.

Even though he has yet to face the Stars this year, Schneider definitely knows what to expect from Dallas.

"They have a good blend of grit and skill. You sort of underestimate them, but Ryder's having a great year. Ribeiro and Eriksson are extremely skilled. And they got Morrow back, so he and Ott and not to mention Jamie Benn, so you kind of overlook some of their guys but they're some of the more underrated players in the league," Schneider said. "We saw last game in VAN that they were ready to make some plays and execute some pretty good two-on-ones."
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