VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Vancouver Canucks captain Mark Messier, who missed 18 games with a sprained left knee, was scheduled to return to the lineup for Thursday night's game against the St. Louis Blues.

Messier, who suffered the injury when his skate caught a rut in his first shift during a game in Pittsburgh on Feb. 11, remained second in team scoring with 13 goals and 44 points, and continued to lead the NHL with seven short-handed points (two goals, five assists).

The Canucks, losers of their last five, went 3-11-4 in Messier's absence.