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Canucks defenceman Sami Salo hopes to return from groin injury against Canadiens

MONTREAL - Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo tested his sore groin Monday and gave it a thumbs up.

Salo, who has missed four games with a groin injury, took part in a full practice at the Bell Centre and said he felt no pain. He expects to be in the lineup Tuesday night when Vancouver takes on the Montreal Canadiens in the second game of their marathon 14-game road trip.

"It was the first time I skated with the team and I felt good, actually," said Salo, who practised in a pairing with Alexander Edler. "This was the first practice, so we'll see how it feels (Tuesday) morning."

Coach Alain Vigneault said that barring a setback, Salo should be in the lineup.

Montreal native Roberto Luongo is to make a 26th consecutive start in goal. He was yanked after allowing three goals in the first period in Toronto on Saturday night, although the Canucks rallied to beat the Maple Leafs 5-3 with Andrew Raycroft in the net.

Vigneault expects Luongo to bounce back with a strong game.

"When I've had to take him out of games, he has always had great performances after," said Vigneault. "In the number of games that I play him, he's going to have some off nights and I'm sure he'll want to play really well."

The Canucks drubbed the Canadiens 7-1 in Vancouver on Oct. 7.

Montreal will be without its top goal-scorer Michael Cammalleri, who jammed his right knee during a 3-2 overtime loss in Ottawa on Saturday. Final results of medical tests are not expected until Tuesday, but the left winger is expected to be out for several weeks.

The leaves top centre Tomas Plekanec without either of his wingers, as Andrei Kostitsyn was already out with a knee injury. In practice Monday, Plekanec skated with Sergei Kostitsyn and hot left-winger Benoit Pouliot, who has 11 goals in 18 games since joining Montreal in a trade from Minnesota.



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