VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The National Hockey League has given Vancouver Canucks’ forward Byron Bitz a two game suspension for his hit from behind on LA Kings winger Kyle Clifford last night in game one of their opening round series. NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan cited the injury to Clifford and Bitz’ clear intent to hit the Kings winger as a reason for the suspension.

“I had no intention of targeting his head or injuring anybody. It’s not the way I play,” said Bitz after today’s optional skate. The Canucks are expected to insert Dale Wiese or Andrew Ebbett into the lineup for Friday’s game with Bitz unavailable. Bitz will be eligible to return for next Wednesday’s game four in Los Angeles.

Daniel Sedin was not on the ice today at the Canucks’ optional practice but he wasn’t alone as several players include Henrik Sedin,  Alex Burrows,  Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Roberto Luongo, and Jannik Hansen chose not to skate.

Daniel’s absence leaves a big question mark for his status for tomorrow’s game two.  He has now missed ten games since the elbow from Chicago’s Duncan Keith back on March 21st.  Faceoff tomorrow is at 7 p.m.