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Tambellini makes postseason debut for Canucks

by Dan Rosen /
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vancouver forward Jeff Tambellini will make his career Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 6 Monday at Bridgestone Arena. Tambellini has drawn in for the injured Mikael Samuelsson and will start the game on the Canucks' fourth line with Tanner Glass and Cody Hodgson.

Vancouver holds a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Tambellini, who had 17 points in 62 games during the regular season, hasn't played since April 9. He said Monday morning that he was looking forward to getting the opportunity to play playoff hockey, and it's why he signed with the Canucks last summer.

"It's a situation where you're playing on a first place team and hope to be a part of this in any way," Tambellini said. "This is exactly what I was looking for. It's something I knew might happen and I'm excited just to have the opportunity."

As expected, Canucks winger Chris Higgins (left foot) and Nashville center Jerred Smithson (upper body) will both play in Game 6.

Smithson watched Game 5 from his own couch after suffering an injury in Game 4. Higgins was hurt blocking Kevin Klein's shot in the first period of Game 5 Saturday, but he quickly returned to the game and despite some soreness he is going to play Monday and will start in his usual spot on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond.

Victor Oreskovich, Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts are the healthy scratches for Vancouver. J-P Dumont, Chris Mueller, Teemu Laakso, Cal O'Reilly and the injured Steve Sullivan won't play for the Predators.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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