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Kevin Bieksa to miss 6-8 weeks with calf cut, Sami Salo unsure about status

VANCOUVER - The struggling Vancouver Canucks took another blow Friday when the NHL team learned two of its top defencemen will be lost for the foreseeable future with injuries.

Kevin Bieksa will miss six-to-eight weeks with a lacerated right calf, while it's unclear when Sami Salo will return after badly breaking his nose.

The Canucks, who play the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night in Denver, have called up Luc Bourdon from the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

"We have to stick together and fight our way through this right now," coach Alain Vigneault told reporters.

Both players were taken to hospital with the injuries suffered during Vancouver's 3-0 loss to Nashville Thursday night.

Bieksa's calf muscle was sliced by the skate blade of Nashville's Vernon Fiddler during the second period. The wound left blood splattered on the ice.

Salo, playing only his fourth game after returning to the lineup after a wrist injury, was hit in the face by puck shot by teammate Alex Edler.

Vigneault said Salo's orbital bone was not broken, as originally feared. His nose may need surgery to insert a plate.

The Canucks will also be without Lukas Krajicek for four weeks with a fractured foot. Krajicek hurt himself when he slipped on a sidewalk, aggravating an injury originally suffered by a blocked shot on Oct. 13.

Vancouver is last in the Northwest Division with a 5-8-0 record The Canucks have lost four of their last five games and are 1-7 at home.

Defenceman Willie Mitchell said the team is being tested.

"It's a sink or swim thing," he said. "We'll see what we are made of. Players are going to have to elevate their games.

"It's a tough hill. Sometimes that's what you need is adversity to get things on track."


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