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Kenins scores first NHL goal; Meanwhile, Kassian sits again for third time in seven games
3 февраля 2015 года. Ziemer, Brad. The Vancouver Sun

Ronalds Kenins scored his first NHL goal in his second game and now must wait to see if he gets to play a third one.

The fact that Kenins played meant Zack Kassian did not. Kassian was made a healthy scratch for the third time in the last seven games on Sunday, when the Vancouver Canucks fell 4-2 to the Minnesota Wild at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks are clearly not happy with Kassian's play and coach Willie Desjardins said he is simply dressing the lineup he thinks has the best chance to win. On Sunday, that lineup included five rookies - Kenins, centre Bo Horvat, winger Linden Vey and defencemen Frank Corrado and Adam Clendening.

"We are playing to win," Desjardins said after the game. "The only thought we have is finding ways to win ... I have to look at Clendening sometime. There is never going to be a good game where we want to look at him. It is the same with Kenins. Can he help us? I don't know. We have to give him a few games to have a look at it. I thought both guys played OK."

The fact Kassian was again scratched figures to further speculation that the big winger may be shipped out before the March 2 trade deadline.

Desjardins said the decision to play Kenins and scratch Kassian was based on him wanting to see more of Kenins and also on the fact Kassian has not been very good. In the nine games Kassian has played since returning from a finger injury, he has no goals and one assist.

"I want to see what Kenins can do," Desjardins said. "I want to get a look at him, I want to get a read on him. I think he has the ability to play in the league. I think he can skate, I think he can finish his checks and he's got some skill. But it's easy to have the ability, it's another thing to do it every shift. I thought there were times when he wasn't quite as good as he needed to be, but at the same time he got a big goal.

"I don't think Zack is playing his best hockey. He is frustrated and that's fair enough. His role is not an easy role right now, but in the end he has to find ways to be good and that's everybody, not just Zack."

Kenins scored Vancouver's first goal Sunday. It came off the rush, when he took a pass from Horvat and put a shot from the left circle through the legs of Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk. "It's nice to score a goal, but it's nicer when the team wins," said the 23-year-old Latvian. "I think today I had an average game. I can play better than what I did today."

The question is, will that next game be with the Canucks or the Utica Comets?

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