The Vancouver Canucks have recalled defenceman Yann Sauvé from their American Hockey League affiliate in Winnipeg in order to patch the dam.
Injuries to the back end is nothing new for the NHL's top team, which has been dealing with missing defencemen since the 2010-11 season began. Sauvé is expected to dress Saturday when the Canucks play host to the Edmonton Oilers, but he should be back in Manitoba by the time the NHL playoffs begin.
The former second-round draft pick, who has played in three games with the Canucks this season, was needed because rookie Chris Tanev suffered an upper-body injury Thursday in a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Tanev was slammed into the boards heads first by Kings winger Kyle Clifford, who received a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct.
Tanev did not practise Friday, but two ailing Canucks blue-liners did. Alexander Edler (back) and Andrew Alberts (wrist) both returned to the team after long absences, and both are hoping to get into a regular-season game or two before the playoffs begin.
The Canucks have four games remaining, and have already clinched the Presidents' Trophy for finishing first overall. Their remaining games are against non-playoff teams.
"It's important to get back in those game situations you can't get in practice," Edler told reporters. "That would be great if I could do it, but at the same time, I'm not going to push it."
Edler and Alberts both underwent surgery for their injuries. Edler hasn't played since Jan. 24, while Alberts has been out of the lineup since Feb. 14.
Dan Hamhuis (concussion) is also sidelined for Vancouver. He hasn't practised since leaving a March 27 game against Columbus.