Bieksa sits for Canucks due to knee injury
The Vancouver Canucks are still buzzing from their come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win against the Flames in Calgary on Saturday.
But the victory over their NHL Northwest Division rivals came at a cost, as veteran defenceman Kevin Bieksa missed Monday's contest in Washington against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.
While his teammates left Calgary and flew to Washington on Sunday to continue a six-game road trip, Bieksa returned to Vancouver to have an MRI on his injured left knee.
Bieksa suffered the injury in an awkward collision with Flames forward Wayne Primeau in the first period of Saturday's game.
It's unclear whether the veteran blue-liner will be cleared to play in Monday's game.
"I have to see what movements are affecting me, and right now it's tough to say," Bieksa told the Vancouver Province newspaper. "But it's not as bad as I thought it would be, and hopefully I can meet the guys on the road."
The play with Primeau looked harmless enough, but Bieksa believes Primeau's stick might have had something to do with it.
"I don't know what his intentions were, but he threw his stick in there," Bieksa said. "He saw me coming, and I don't know if he was trying to throw a shoulder up and his stick kind of went with it. But the stick was kind of the thing that pushed my knee to the outside.
"I don't know if that caused it or the way that I hit the ice afterward."
Bieksa missed 47 games last season after he collided with Vernon Fiddler and the Nashville forward's skate ended up slicing is right calf.
Vancouver is off to a brilliant start to the new season, having defeated the Flames twice, including a 6-0 decision last Thursday, in a home-and-home series with Calgary.
The Canucks haven't started an NHL campaign with a 3-0 record since the 1999-2000 season.
On Saturday, with the scored tied 4-4 and the game seemingly headed to a shootout, Vancouver broke out on a three-on-one rush led by Alex Burrows, who bided his time before slipping the puck to Pavol Demitra at the edge of the crease. He banged it home at 3:54 of overtime.
Vancouver got off to a slow start and trailed 3-1 at one point, but Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell said the team finally found its speed game in the middle frame, which helped them turn things around.
"We feel our speed up front with our forwards. If we get behind the defence, we can create chances down low, and that's what we did. And when we started doing that, we started to have some life," Mitchell told Hockey Night in Canada.