TORONTO – The Vancouver Canucks are hoping to start the break during the 2014 Sochi Olympics on a high note. The Canucks have lost six straight games and are winless in 15 of the past 19 games as they face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Center on Saturday.
Injuries have been a major problem for the Canucks, but they’ll have defenseman Dan Hamhuis back in the lineup against the Maple Leafs after he missed the past three games with an upper-body injury. Vancouver is still without four other defensemen in Kevin Bieksa, Christopher Tanev, Yannick Weber and Andrew Alberts.
The Canucks had a very light morning skate with just Eddie Lack and Roberto Luongo on the ice taking shots. Luongo was off the ice first and will likely get the start.
Fortunes have been different for the Maple Leafs. Toronto has won 10 of their past 13 games and sits one point behind second-place Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs have been led by the scoring of Phil Kessel, who has 13 goals and 30 points in the past 20 games.
The Maple Leafs did not hold a morning skate. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start for the sixth straight game.
Here are the projected lineups for the Canucks and Maple Leafs:
Daniel Sedin – Jordan Schroeder – Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins – Ryan Kesler – Jannik Hansen
David Booth – Brad Richardson – Zack Kassian
Tom Sestito – Zac Dalpe – Pascal Pelletier
Alexander Edler – Raphael Diaz
Jason Garrison – Dan Hamhuis
Ryan Stanton – Frank Corrado
Scratched: Yann Sauve, Kellan Lain
Injured: Henrik Sedin (ribs), Mike Santorelli (shoulder), Kevin Bieksa (foot), Christopher Tanev (thumb), Yannick Weber (upper body), Andrew Alberts (concussion)
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Nikolai Kulemin – Nazem Kadri – Joffrey Lupul
Mason Raymond – Jay McClement – David Clarkson
Frazer McLaren – Jerred Smithson – Troy Bodie
Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf
Morgan Rielly – Tim Gleason
Jake Gardiner – Cody Franson
Scratched: Paul Ranger, Colton Orr
Injured: Carter Ashton (hand), Dave Bolland (cut tendon), Trevor Smith (hand) , Peter Holland (lace bite)