Canucks’ Tanev out with upper-body injury; Edler expected to return

Vancouver Canucks' Christopher Tanev (8) and Alexander Edler (23) fight for control of the puck with former St. Louis Blues right wing Ty Rattie (18) during first period action in Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Vancouver Canucks’ top defensive pairing of Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev is so cohesive and in-tune that, apparently, the players can even synchronize their injuries.

Excitement about the expected return from injury by Edler on Thursday night is mitigated by the absence of Tanev, who is returning to Vancouver with an unspecified "upper-body" injury will keep him out of at least the final three games of the Canucks’ Pacific Division road trip.

The Canucks announced Tanev’s injury after coach Travis Green met with reporters in Anaheim and said he expected Edler to play against the Ducks after missing 12 games with a sprained knee.

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Injury to Canucks' Tanev hard to spot, could have happened against Red Wings
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At least the Canucks won’t be without both of their top defencemen when they play the Ducks, who are coping without impact centres Ryan Getzlaf (broken cheek bone) and Ryan Kesler (hip). Anaheim is also without top defenceman Cam Fowler (knee), so the Canucks’ injury situation barely registers in comparison to the Ducks’ crisis.

The Canucks have gone 7-4-1 without Edler, who was hurt in the third game of the season while trying to throw a hit against the Winnipeg Jets. The 31-year-old Swede has had significant injuries in five straight seasons.

"You always want to see your team play good and win games when you’re out," Edler said. "The pressure is always there (to perform) but it’s nice to come back when they’re playing good.

"When the injury happened, it was a familiar feeling. Third game in, it was a little frustrating. But I’ve been around long enough to know once it happens, you just have to accept it and deal with it and stay positive. I’ve gotten pretty good at that – staying positive."

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Tanev, who has also struggled to stay healthy over the last five seasons, logged 23:19 of ice time in the Canucks’ 5-3 win Tuesday against the Calgary Flames. The Canucks did not announce a time frame for his absence from the lineup beyond "the rest of the road trip."

Vancouver visits the San Jose Sharks Saturday before returning to Southern California for a game Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings. The Canucks are one game into a stretch of 10 road games out of 12.