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.

“I took my chance to rest a little extra,” Samuelsson said after the session at the United Centre. “You’re gonna feel sore in some places, a lot of guys do. I felt good today, so I’m ready to go.”

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 year’s 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 year’s Western Conference final and generally dominated Chicago over the years.

Still, Samuelsson said he doesn’t take much from that experience.

“It’s a new situation and a new series. It’s gonna be a tough time and it’s going to be good,” he said.

“Not really. Every time you play a playoff team, you’re going to be a little sour if you lose against them. It doesn’t matter who it is. That’s the battle level of the playoffs, it’s going to leave emotions out there. For me, it’s not different to go into another series.”

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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