February 15, 2013
Kesler returns to Canucks lineup
By QMI Agency

Vancouver Canucks Ryan Kesler celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia Feb. 2, 2012. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)

Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler made his season debut against the Dallas Stars on Friday night.

"It's been a long road," Kesler told the Canucks website before the game. "For it to finally be here, it's pretty exciting for myself."

The 28-year-old, coming off shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in May and a separate procedure on his wrist in June, played in a limited role for his first game back.

His return was accelerated by the departure of Manny Malhotra, who was placed on injured reserve on Thursday after lingering issues stemming from an eye injury suffered almost two years ago.

AVS' LANDESKOG BACK ON SKATES

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was back on skates for the first time Friday since suffering a possible concussion on Jan. 26.


According to the Denver Post, Landeskog skated at the team's practice facility with the Avs medical personnel looking on. A team official described the skate as "going through the process" of recovery.

Landeskog took a hit from San Jose Sharks defenceman Brad Stuart during a game last month. He missed a few shifts but was able to finish before suffering symptoms the next day.

Meanwhile, goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is taking a personal leave of absence and will not be in Saturday's lineup against the Edmonton Oilers. He is scheduled to rejoin the team in Colorado on Sunday for practice.

PANTHERS' JOVANOVSKI OUT LONGER?

Florida Panthers defenceman Ed Jovanovski will miss at least two more weeks with a knee injury, according to the Miami Herald.

The team captain has missed the last seven games and hasn't played since early in the third period of a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 29.

Jovanovski skated prior to the team's practice Friday.

In five games, Jovanovski has one assist and a minus-2 rating.

CRAWFORD OUT FOR BLACKHAWKS

The Chicago Blackhawks were without the services of Corey Crawford for Friday's game agains the San Jose Sharks after the goaltender did not participate in the morning skate.

Crawford is out with an undisclosed upper-body injury and was listed as "day-to-day" by Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.

Crawford, who's 7-0-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average, took a hit in the third period of Tuesday's game against the Anaheim Ducks.

"I don't know if it was that or from practice," Quenneville told NHL.com. "I don't know if it was a defining blow."

The Blackhawks recalled recently-acquired goaltender Henrik Karlsson from Rockford of the AHL.

RED WINGS A HURTING BUNCH

The Detroit Red Wings need to quickly find some healthy players.

The Wings placed Todd Bertuzzi on injured reserve and held out star centre Pavel Datsyuk before their game against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. Datsyuk is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The teams' injury list also includes forwards Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Jan Mursak and Mikael Samuelsson, defencemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Brendan Smith, and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.

The Wings called up forward Gustav Nyquist from the AHL. He is scoreless in one game with the Red Wings this season.

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