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D. Sedin expected back vs. Blackhawks

11/21/2009 - NHL Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks + more

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks have cleared room for the return of high-scoring forward Daniel Sedin by sending forward Matt Pettinger to their AHL affiliate on Saturday.

Sedin has missed 18 games since his foot was broken by a teammate's shot in the fourth game of the season on Oct. 7. Sedin has led the Canucks in goals in each of the past three seasons.

Sedin would be reunited on the Canucks' top line with identical twin Henrik, likely Sunday night at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"They're still good players when they're not with one another. Hank has proved that," coach Alain Vignault said earlier this week. "But, obviously, I believe they're better together."

Daniel and Henrik Sedin were drafted second and third overall in 1999 by the Canucks and have played most of their careers on the same line, evolving into point-a-game players the past three seasons. But Daniel's first serious injury -- he had missed only 10 games before that in his nine-year career -- has proven Henrik can produce offensively without him.

He recorded 18 points without Daniel, including 10 goals, and leads the team -- and is tied for 10th in the NHL -- in scoring with 24 points. With 13 goals already, Henrik is also proving he is more than a set-up center, and is on pace to smash last season's career-best 23.

Daniel, who scored 31 goals last season, had four assists in his first four games this season, while Henrik had three goals and three assists before losing his regular linemate on Oct. 7.

The Canucks waived Pettinger before sending him down to Manitoba in the AHL. He has played 420 career NHL games in seven seasons. He was signed as a free agent on Nov. 2, getting one goal and one assist in seven games.