VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks not only lost a disappointing NHL game to the Nashville Predators on Friday night, they also lost two of their top four defencemen.
Both Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo were taken to hospital with injuries after Vancouver bowed 3-0 to Nashville to fall into a tie for last place in the Western Conference. Bieksa suffered a lacerated right calf when he was cut by the skate of Predator Vernon Fiddler during the second period.
"There's a pretty deep cut there, with the (calf) muscle," coach Alain Vigneault said after the game.
Salo, who was playing only his fourth game after returning to the lineup after a wrist injury, was hit in the face by puck shot by teammate Alex Edler.
Vigneault said Salo, who missed nine games after being injured in an intra-squad game, was hit in the orbital bone around the eye and his nose.
"It's easy to see both those guys are going to be out for a while now," said Vigneault who plans to call up at least one defenceman from the AHL Manitoba Moose.
Both Bieksa and Salo are right hand shots and play on the power play.
"Any time you lose players, especially guys like that, it's going to hurt you," said Canuck defenceman Mattias Ohlund.