Canucks' Samuelsson will play

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:22 PM ET

As promised, Mikael Samuelsson took to the ice when the Vancouver Canucks practised Friday in anticipation of their series opener Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

After missing the previous couple of days due to a reported sore back, Samuelsson took his spot on the wing with Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

ďI took my chance to rest a little extra,Ē Samuelsson said after the session at the United Centre. ďYouíre gonna feel sore in some places, a lot of guys do. I felt good today, so Iím ready to go.Ē

On the heels of his performance to help eliminate the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Canucks could certainly use him. Samulsson led all NHLers with seven goals in the six-game set.

While most of his teammates are fuelled by their quest to avenge losing to the Blackhawks in last yearís playoff tournament, Samuelsson has the benefit of a different feeling toward the Windy City squad.

He spent the past few seasons with Detroit, which defeated the Blackhawks in last yearís Western Conference final and generally dominated Chicago over the years.

Still, Samuelsson said he doesnít take much from that experience.

ďItís a new situation and a new series. Itís gonna be a tough time and itís going to be good,Ē he said.

ďNot really. Every time you play a playoff team, youíre going to be a little sour if you lose against them. It doesnít matter who it is. Thatís the battle level of the playoffs, itís going to leave emotions out there. For me, itís not different to go into another series.Ē

Vancouver forward Ryan Johnson, a top penalty killer, also practised fully in his recovery from a broken foot, but remains out on a day-to-day basis.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca


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