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Injuries hamper Maple Leafs, Canucks

Toronto's Kadri game-time decision; Vancouver without Edler, Sutter

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (19-25-9) at CANUCKS (22-20-12)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; CBC, NHL.TV

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks will be without two key players against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, but at least they are used to it by now.

Vancouver announced Friday that top defenseman Alexandler Edler will miss at least six weeks and center Brandon Sutter would be out for another six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken jaw. Edler and Sutter, who already missed 33 games with a sports hernia, were injured against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, just the second game the Canucks dressed a completely healthy lineup all season.

"The one good thing, I guess, is we've had injuries all year so we've had other people develop," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "It's not like it's the first time we've had injuries so nobody has had that opportunity, but saying that, those are two guys we'll miss."

The Canucks already are used to life without Sutter, who was only back four games before getting hurt again. His absence means more opportunity for 19-year-old rookie center Jared McCann, who has seven goals and six assists in 46 games this season, and journeyman Adam Cracknell, who has three goals and five assists in 40 games.

"We've been there, done that, but losing both is tough," center Bo Horvat said.

Edler lead the team in ice time at 24:27 and tops the defense with 20 points despite being matched up against the opponent's best forwards on a nightly basis.

The return of Hamhuis, who missed almost two months with multiple facial fractures that required extensive surgery to repair, will help offset the loss of Edler. But the Canucks also will have to lean more heavily on rookie Ben Hutton for the next six weeks. "We just got our full D-core back together and [Edler] goes down," Hutton said. "Guys just have to step up and fill his minutes, and hopefully pull together a few big wins."

The Canucks won't get much sympathy from the visiting Maple Leafs, who are battling injuries of their own and still trying to get over trading captain and top-four defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators earlier in the week.

Nazem Kadri is listed as a game-time decision but could return to center Toronto's top line after missing a 5-2 loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday with a lower body injury. Kadri skated in Vancouver Friday, but Michael Grabner, who blocked a shot against the Oilers, did not and is also questionable to play on Saturday.

Forward Josh Leivo, who left Thursday with an upper-body injury shortly after scoring for the second straight game, and defenseman Jared Cowen (tightness in hips) were placed on Injured Reserve on Saturday. Toronto already was missing top players James van Riemsdyk (foot), Tyler Bozak (upper body), Joffrey Lupul (middle body) and Shawn Matthias (whiplash). Milan Michalek, who was part of the trade with the Senators, is also out with a broken finger.

Toronto recalled forwards Brendan Leipsic and Jeremy Morin from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.

Despite a diminished roster, coach Mike Babcock praised his team's play.

"One thing I can't complain about is they compete every night," Babcock said. "We don't score well, but we normally hang around. We just have to find a way to win a game."

Here are the projected lineups:

Peter Holland - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Michael Grabner - Mark Arcobello - PA Parenteau
Daniel Winnik - Nick Spaling - Colin Greening
Rich Clune - Byron Froese - Brad Boyes

Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly
Jake Gardiner - Roman Polak
Martin Marincin - Frank Corrado

James Reimer
Jonathan Bernier

Injured: Josh Leivo (upper body), James van Riemsdyk (foot), Stephane Robidas (lower body), Tyler Bozak (upper body), Joffrey Lupul (middle body), Shawn Matthias (whiplash), Milan Michalek (broken finger), Jared Cowen (hips)

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata
Derek Dorsett - Jared McCann - Jake Virtanen
Alexandre Burrows - Linden Vey - Emerson Etem

Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev
Ben Hutton - Luca Sbisa
Matt Bartkowski - Yannick Weber

Ryan Miller
Jacob Markstrom

Injured: Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alexander Edler (fractured leg)
Scratched: Adam Cracknell, Alex Biega

Status Report: Weber was assigned to Utica of the American Hockey League after clearing waivers, but hadn't left Vancouver because of work permit problems. Edler's injury not only resulted in Weber being called back up, but he will take Edler's place on the top-unit power play, where he scored 11 goals last season.

Who's Hot: Parenteau had two goals and an assist in three games before being blanked against the Oilers on Thursday, when he took two penalties and a 10-minute misconduct in the third period. … Horvat has 14 points in his past 15 games.

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