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Henrik Sedin out as Canucks visit Oilers

by Brian Hunter

CANUCKS (25-16-9) at OILERS (15-30-6)


Last 10: Vancouver 2-5-3; Edmonton 2-6-2

Season series: This is the third of five games between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. Vancouver has already claimed a pair of four-goal victories on home ice. Nine different Canucks have scored a goal and 14 have registered at least one point. Roberto Luongo has stopped 40 of Edmonton's 42 shots.

Big story: Luongo is back again for the Canucks, and though he's played only two games since originally getting hurt on Dec. 22 both have been tremendous efforts. He made 46 saves in a Jan. 4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings and then was back on the shelf until this past Saturday, when he turned in 31 stops in a shootout win against the Calgary Flames.

Team Scope:

Canucks: Since missing four games during the 2003-04 season due to an abdominal strain, Vancouver center Henrik Sedin has played in 679 consecutive games. However, he's failed to finish each of the past two due to a suspected rib injury and his ironman streak will come to an end Tuesday.

Canucks assistant coach Mike Sullivan confirmed Monday that Sedin, who has 40 points in 50 games (nine goals, 31 assists), will not be in the lineup in Edmonton.

"The fact he's been able to play that many games consecutively is just a testament to his determination and how tough he is," Sullivan said. "Him and [twin brother] Daniel both play in the hard areas of the rink on a consistent basis because they have the puck so much."

Sedin's offensive ability will be missed on a team that was shut out twice and limited to a single goal once in the three games prior to Saturday. The Canucks also were without forward Mike Santorelli (shoulder) against the Flames.

Oilers: This is the start of a three-game homestand for Edmonton, which had a rousing 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in its most recent time out at Rexall Place, but followed that up by getting swept on a four-game road trip.

The Oilers did enough to squeeze a point out of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon when David Perron drew them even with two minutes left in regulation. They gave up 39 shots on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, though, and average nearly 32 shots allowed per game, in the bottom third of the NHL.

"Once we learn to enjoy the hard parts of the game, we'll be much better," defenseman and team captain Andrew Ference said in the Edmonton Journal.

Who's hot: Canucks forward Ryan Kesler had a goal and an assist against the Flames. … Oilers forward Jordan Eberle has goals in consecutive games.

Injury report: Santorelli, defensemen Ryan Stanton (ankle) and Andrew Alberts (concussion), and forward Jordan Schroeder (ankle) are on injured reserve. … Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov (head) missed the previous game and forward Ales Hemsky (foot) missed the past two. Also sidelined are defensemen Philip Larsen (illness) and Corey Potter (groin).

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