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Tambellini set for second taste of playoff action

by Dhiren Mahiban
VANCOUVER -- Both the Canucks and Sharks held optional skates with many regulars choosing not to participate ahead of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at Rogers Arena on Wednesday night.

There could be lineup changes on both sides after the two-day layoff between games -- both Jeff Tambellini for Vancouver and Jason Demers for San Jose could make their returns.

Tambellini in: The Port Moody, B.C. native, who played his first NHL playoff game in Game 6 of round two against the Nashville Predators, is expected to take the roster spot of Tanner Glass. Glass played eight shifts and 6:26 of ice time in Game 1's 3-2 win.

"Tanner is more a physical presence," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Jeff is more speed, skill and good puck management. Both bring different components."

Tambellini made his presence felt in his lone playoff appearance with a solid defensive play on Predators forward Martin Erat, who was in all alone with an opportunity to pick up the game-tying goal in the second period of the Canucks' 2-1 win in Nashville.

"It's a great opportunity, we're in a good spot so far, I'm just looking to add to what the guys did in Game 1," said the 27-year-old Tambellini. "We have a line with Cody (Hodgson) in the middle is a guy that can make a really good play and is a reliable centerman, he's got a lot of energy. Hopefully I can bring an element of speed to that and really try to hem (San Jose) in their zone as much as we can."

Tambellini, who grew up a Canucks fan, will likely play alongside Hodgson and Victor Oreskovich to start Game 2.

Samuelssson update: Vigneault told the media this morning that forward Mikael Samuelsson will not travel with the team to San Jose for Games 3 and 4.

Samuelsson has not played since Game 5 of the Nashville series when he got tangled up with Predators forward Nick Spalling.

Meetings galore:
Many Canucks who did not participate in this morning's optional skate were involved in video sessions and meetings.

Both the Canucks' first- and second-unit power plays had video sessions, as did the team's third line of Maxim Lapierre, Raffi Torres and Jannik Hansen.

Vancouver's power play was 0-for-3 with just three shots on goal before Henrik Sedin found the back of the net in Sunday's 3-2 win.

Demers a no show:
The San Jose defenseman did not skate for a second straight day after being a surprise scratch from Game 1.

Kent Huskins, who had not played since Feb. 19, played in Demers' spot.

When the Sharks did line rushes on Tuesday at UBC they were identical to those in the Game 1 loss.

Speaking on the team's lineup for tonight Sharks coach Todd McLellan did not offer up much.

"We'll see how the morning turns out here," McLellan said. "I haven't had many updates from our training staff yet. They're doing their things. We'll make some decisions as the day goes on."
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