The Vancouver Canucks have enjoyed the good fortune of having the same six defencemen play every game this season.
That may change Sunday afternoon in Detroit, when the Canucks complete a four-game road trip against the Red Wings.
Kevin Bieksa left Friday night’s game in Nashville early in the second period with what coach Alain Vigneault described as a groin injury.
“Kevin tweaked a groin a little bit,” Vigneault said after Vancouver’s 1-0 win over the Predators. “We’ll know more (Saturday) but at first it doesn’t seem to be that serious. But we’ll see how it reacts tonight to ice and treatment and we’ll have a better idea (Saturday).”
Bieksa left the game about four minutes into the second period shortly after taking a hit on the side boards from Nashville defenceman Hal Gill. It was not clear whether he suffered the injury on that play.
“I talked quickly to Bernie (trainer Mike Burnstein), and I think it was when he did go and hit somebody and I don’t know who it was,” Vigneault said. “He felt something there.”
Bieksa’s absence meant the Canucks, who were plying their third road game in four nights, had to play the rest of the night with just five defencemen.
“Some games you have to grind it, you have to find ways, and tonight was an example of that,” Vigneault said. “Those five guys did a tremendous job, all four lines did a really solid job of playing high percentage and smart hockey against a team that is a very intelligent team on the ice.”
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