CALGARY, Alberta — The Vancouver Canucks have a huge gap to fill for at least the next month.
They began life on Thursday without top center Bo Horvat, who is out with a broken foot. He was injured Tuesday in a win over Carolina and watched the Canucks lose meekly 4-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers two days later.
The Canucks (14-11-4) are in action again Saturday evening when they visit the Calgary Flames.
“When you lose top guys in your lineup someone else has to step up,” Canucks coach Travis Green told reporters in Vancouver.
“And a lot of times it’s by committee. You can’t expect one person to become Bo Horvat.”
Horvat has 10 goals and 10 assists in 28 games and is second on the team behind rookie winger Brock Boeser.
The Canucks made a move late Thursday night to fill the roster spot, though it certainly won’t replace the offense Horvat supplies.
They acquired forward Nic Dowd from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the third Subban brother, Jordan, a defensive prospect who is in the American Hockey League.
Dowd, a 27-year-old from Huntsville, Ala., has one assist in 16 games with the Kings this season. His first full NHL season of 2016-17 saw him register six goals and 22 points in 70 games.
The loss to Philadelphia derailed a nice run by the Canucks, who were looking for their fourth straight win.
“Home, road — whatever. If there’s two points up for grabs, we need to show up and give it everything we have. We had a good practice today and we’ll be ready for Calgary,” said Canucks defenseman Michael del Zotto on Friday.
The Flames (15-12-2) return home after a successful two-game trip where they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a shootout on Wednesday and beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime on Thursday.
The win over Montreal snapped a three-game losing streak that also included a loss to Philadelphia on Monday.
Calgary’s head coach Glen Gulutzan preached patience after the Montreal game.
“You can’t ride the waves too high or too low, you’ve got to stick with your game and at the end of the day you can get there if you keep that perspective,” he said.
The Flames will have pesky sophomore Matthew Tkachuk back in the lineup. The winger sat out a one-game suspension for a spearing incident in Toronto, his second spearing suspension of the season.
What’s unknown is the status of Jaromir Jagr, who has missed the past two contests with a lower-body injury. The 45-year-old has missed 12 of the Flames’ first 29 games and has one goal and six assists in what is looking more and more like his 25th and final NHL season.
This is the third meeting of the season for the Flames and Canucks. Calgary won 5-2 in Vancouver on Oct. 14 and the Canucks returned the favor with a 5-3 victory in Calgary on Nov. 7.