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This article was published 4/12/2009 (3736 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
PEORIA, Ill. — It must be on of those days that ends in "y" — the Manitoba Moose have lost another player.
It's actually two regulars the Moose will do without tonight at Carver Arena against the Peoria Rivermen.
Moose captain Mike Keane has taken a brief leave from the team so he can attend tonight's 100th anniversary celebrations in Montreal. Keane is a former Habs captain and Stanley Cup-winner and is expected to rejoin the Moose tomorrow.
Manitoba will also have to do without right-winger Dan Sexton tonight. The small but shifty rookie pro has been recalled by the Anaheim Ducks after Teemu Selanne suffered a broken bone in his hand last night.
Sexton, who had played five AHL games and had three points, is likely to make his NHL debut tonight in Minnesota.
"Any time you get to see a player go up and play their first NHL game, it's exciting," Moose coach Scott Arniel said after this morning's skate. "I talked to him on the phone last night and I think he thought I was kidding when I told him. He was in the ECHL a couple of weeks ago, was here and now is up there. It's great to see him get a chance.
"We've seen flashes of his skill. You can see he has really good hands. He's smart with the puck. He's not a big-body guy but he does a good job of staying out of the way, not get run over by some big guys. He's got lots to learn at this level but he's shown some good signs."
Those absences mean more line juggling, a staple of the Moose season so far.
Eric Walsky will move into Sexton's spot with Matt Pettinger and Marty Murray, while veteran Darryl Bootland will come back into the lineup and play with Mario Bliznak and Alexandre Bolduc.
Bliznak was all smiles this morning when asked how much he'll miss Keane, his regular linemate and fellow top penalty killer.
"I knew you'd ask that," Bliznak said. "Guys are chirping me today, asking me if I'm going to be OK today without Mike. They're always joking about that.
"It'll be the same game. It'll just be other guys stepping up there. We are deep with players. Obviously he's a big part of our PK but it'll be time for other guys to step up."
It's the second meeting of the season between the Moose and Rivermen. Peoria won here last Friday, 2-1 in overtime.