Canucks-Wild Preview

After the Vancouver Canucks welcomed one Sedin back to the lineup, they could be without the other.

It’s uncertain if Henrik Sedin will play Wednesday night as the visiting Canucks look for a third straight victory while trying to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat to the Minnesota Wild.

The same night Daniel Sedin returned from missing nine games with a hamstring injury and Ryan Kesler played for the first time in five because of a sprained knee, a leg injury forced Henrik Sedin to leave Sunday’s 4-2 win over Buffalo.

He also missed eight games in January and February, plus the Sochi Olympics, because of rib and finger injuries.

"It hurts, we’re in a playoff race," said Henrik, who has a team-leading 46 points and recorded five assists in three games prior to Sunday.

"It’s not fun."

A winner in five of eight since losing 11 of 12, Vancouver (33-30-10) is 10th in the Western Conference and must move past Dallas and Phoenix to reach the final wild-card spot and extend its playoff streak to six seasons. However, with forward Alexandre Burrows likely to miss a second straight game with a hand injury and Henrik Sedin’s latest issue, the pursuit could get tougher.

"We can’t use (injuries) as an excuse," coach John Tortorella said. "It’s just been one of those years. It is what it is. I know we have a very steep hill to climb but we’re still fighting."

Tortorella could use some consistent production from the gritty Zack Kassian, who had four assists Sunday to help Vancouver win consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 18 and 21. Used primarily as a checking forward, Kassian has set career highs with 11 goals, 12 assists and 64 games but had two points in 11 contests before Sunday.

"It was one of those games (where) it seemed the puck followed me,” he said. ”It’s nice personally, but it’s even better we keep this streak going."

The Canucks now must find a way to beat the Wild (37-24-11), who can record their first season sweep in this series after winning the previous two matchups in shootouts. Minnesota has held Vancouver to one or two goals each time while taking the last four.

Though the Wild hold the first wild-card spot in the West, they’ve dropped two straight at home and are in the midst of an overall 3-3-4 stretch. However, they’re looking to build on their rally from a 2-0 hole to win 4-3 in overtime at Detroit on Sunday.

Matt Moulson scored the winner and had an assist to help Minnesota split a home-and-home with the Red Wings.

"I was really impressed at the way they were able to stick with it," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "Obviously, there’s a tendency to get frustrated and go away from our game. But they stuck with it."

Moulson has three goals and three assists in his last four games. He scored twice against Vancouver in the New York Islanders’ 5-4 loss Oct. 22, giving him four goals and an assist in his last four matchups with the Canucks.

Daniel Sedin doesn’t have a point in 13 games and his goal drought has reached 23.