VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks are getting one of their key players back in the lineup.
Forward Brock Boeser practised on a regular line and will dress for the Canucks' game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Boeser has missed 12 games since suffering a rib cartilage injury in a Feb. 6 game against Minnesota. At one point, the Canucks said he would miss the rest of the regular season.
"I was doing everything I could to get back as fast as I could," said Boeser. "It's been feeling good for a little bit now."
Boeser practised on a line with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson in the morning skate.
"It's good to have him back," said head coach Travis Green. "It gives us another player in the top six. With him out of the lineup, there was obviously a hole."
Boeser returns at a time when the Canucks are playing four games in six days, including a road trip to Arizona and Colorado.
"I have to bring my effort tonight and make sure my shifts are short," said the 22-year-old. "I need to make sure I'm on top of my game and focus on the little details.
The Canucks, who are battling to end a four-year playoff drought, have struggled recently. Boeser has watched the team go 5-6-1 in the while he has been sidelined.
The Canucks (35-27-6) entered Tuesday's play one point out of a playoff spot.
"It sucks any time you get injured," he said "It's definitely frustrating not being out there, especially in this crunch time right now. Every game you play, it's like it's do or die.
"It was tough to watch but I'm excited to be back."
Boeser remains Vancouver's sixth-leading scorer with 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points. Prior to his injury, Boeser had no goals and just two assists in the previous 11 games.
"I don't think its been my best year," he said. "I was going pretty well (early on) but that last chunk of games before I got hurt, I wasn't playing my best hockey.
"I think I felt like I was getting back to my game those couple of games before I got injured. I think I have to play that same way tonight and go out there and produce."
The Canucks still have several players on the injured list. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom (knee) skated with the team Tuesday. Also out are forwards Josh Leivo (fractured kneecap); Jay Beagle (undisclosed) and Micheal Ferland (concussion).
This story by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press