The Vancouver Canucks are close to getting two of their top players back from injuries. However, it likely won't happen in their next contest.
Before stars Roberto Luongo and Daniel Sedin return to the ice, the visiting Canucks try to hand the St. Louis Blues their sixth consecutive loss Tuesday night in a rematch of last season's first-round playoff series.
After missing six games with a rib injury, Luongo was aiming to make his return in goal Tuesday, but the Vancouver captain came down with the flu and will serve as the backup to Andrew Raycroft. Luongo, 6-6-0 with a 2.79 goals-against average, could be ready to go as early as Thursday at Detroit.
Sedin, meanwhile, has missed all but the first four games since breaking his foot in early October and might not return until Thursday, or at Colorado on Saturday.
Luongo and Sedin are just two of a host of injuries Vancouver (10-8-0) has been forced to overcome. The Canucks have played well without both, including a 4-2-0 mark without Luongo.
"We're obviously battling the injury bug," Raycroft told the Blues' official Web site. "If we can get through this stretch and play well like we are we'll get wins and come out of it ahead of the game."
Facing the Blues (5-6-4) could help the Canucks do just that.
Though the teams split their four games played during the regular season in 2008-09, Vancouver outscored St. Louis 11-5 to sweep a first-round playoff series between the clubs.
St. Louis' offensive struggles from that series seem to have carried over to this season where it's scored four goals during an 0-2-3 stretch.
Vancouver had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss at Dallas on Friday.
"It was one of those games where we didn't have it for 40 minutes," forward Ryan Kesler said of the Canucks, who were playing their ninth game in 14 days and third in four.
Schneider spelled Raycroft, who's 4-1-0 with a 1.60 GAA this season and has a 1.00 GAA during a personal three-game win streak. He's 1-1-0 with a 1.01 GAA lifetime against the Blues.
After scoring 11 goals last season, Raymond has seven in 18 games and four in his last five.
David Perron, who had a goal in the regular season and one in the playoffs against Vancouver, had one with an assist in the Blues' 3-2 shootout loss at Atlanta on Sunday.
Andy McDonald added his fifth goal for St. Louis, which has earned a point in its last three games.
"It means we're close … one point in each of our last three games," Perron said. "Sometimes it's just a shot away from winning. Obviously we're not scoring as many goals as we'd like right now, but we're finding a way and we're really working hard at it."
McDonald had three goals and four assists in seven games -- including playoffs -- against the Canucks last season.
Though Ty Conklin made 38 saves against the Thrashers to fall to 2-2-1 with a 2.24 GAA, Chris Mason could be back in net for this contest.
Mason is 3-4-3 with a 2.45 GAA this season, but 1-4-1 with a 3.19 GAA versus the Canucks.