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Posted On Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 2:58 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks like physical presence of Maroon vs. Kings

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks aren't lacking for big power forwards in their lineup but it certainly helps that Patrick Maroon is grabbing a hold of his role in time to play the Los Angeles Kings.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Maroon brings a wrecking-ball presence, along with a scoring touch, and it will be needed when Anaheim hosts the Kings at Honda Center on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), the last time they'll meet until their game Saturday at Dodger Stadium in the opener of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

Maroon has played with Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne and also taken turns on the Ducks' top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

"He's been doing a real good job," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I have to say in the last four or five games he might be our best forward."

Posted On Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 3:20 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks' Hiller could be sidelined by flu

ANAHEIM -- Jonas Hiller's record winning streak might have to be put on hold.

Hiller will be a game-time decision Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks because of illness, Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said after his team's morning skate.

"He wasn't feeling good this morning so we said, 'Stay home,'" Boudreau said. "It'll be a game-time decision. We'll know this afternoon whether he's still feeling flu-ish or if he feels fine to go."

Asked if he's checking in on Hiller every hour, Boudreau said, "Probably every half-hour."

Hiller tied four others Sunday for the second-longest winning streak in NHL history with his 14th consecutive victory. The last goalie to win 14 in a row was Tom Barrasso of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93. Gilles Gilbert of the Boston Bruins won 17 straight in 1975-76.

If Hiller isn't available, Anaheim has Frederik Andersen and rookie John Gibson to go with.

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 7:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks' Getzlaf scratched with lower-body injury

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was scratched from the game Sunday night against the Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, the Ducks announced.

Getzlaf took a shot off his foot in the second period Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes and did not return for the third period. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said at the time that it was precautionary. Anaheim won, 5-3.

Getzlaf is having a Hart Trophy-like season and is the NHL's fourth-leading scorer with 23 goals and 30 assists in 44 games. He was selected to play for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Posted On Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 4:19 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kings' Richards looking to regain scoring touch

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – His Los Angeles Kings are still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race but Mike Richards admits he's had better winters.

Richards is on a 20-game goalless streak dating back to his last goal Nov.25 and he has one goal in his past 28 games going into Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Darryl Sutter broke up Richards and Jeff Carter in early December and Richards has played with a host of different wings, including Kyle Clifford, Matt Frattin and Trevor Lewis. Tyler Toffoli has assumed the right wing spot for several games, though.

Goals have been particularly difficult to come by lately as Richards has no shots on goal in his past two games. Something the forward credits to simply not being aggressive.

"It's been frustrating," Richards said. "But I'm not a natural goal scorer as Jeff would be. I have to kind of earn what I get. I have to stop looking for the pass-first mentality that I usually come with and try to get pucks to the net more. I don't use it very often, but I have a decent shot, so I think I have to get back to trying to shoot more instead of trying to pick your targets."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 10:04 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Lucic scratched due to illness

ANAHEIM -- Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic was scratched for the game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night with an illness, the Bruins announced before opening faceoff.

It is the first game that Lucic has missed this season. Boston will have 11 forwards available against the Ducks.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 4:16 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - Road to Sochi blog

Canada had tough choices with a few Bruins players

ANAHEIM -- Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were invited to Canada's Olympic orientation camp in the summer but the Boston Bruins forwards were not among those who made the final cut when the team was announced Tuesday.

Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli helped consult executive director Steve Yzerman, and Bruins coach Claude Julien is an assistant coach on the team and had input on the selections.

Speaking generally, Julien said, "All I can say is that there were some real tough decisions that had to be made. We all know there are some good players that are left off the roster right now. But at the same time we feel pretty confident with the group that we have that we're going to go out there and compete well."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 4:08 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coaches see Bruins-Ducks as battle of elite teams

ANAHEIM -- Outside of a few minor lineup changes, the Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins are set for a big matchup Tuesday at Honda Center.

"I think it's pretty obvious when you watch them play that they have some guys that they lean on, a lot like we do, but at the same time it's a pretty well-shared mentality when it comes to playing hard together and supporting each other," Boston coach Claude Julien said of Anaheim.

"No doubt that's one of the reasons I think they are [so good] in the West."

Anaheim is coming off a come-from-behind win against the Vancouver Canucks in which it won with 1.3 seconds remaining in overtime.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 2:54 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - Road to Sochi blog

Koivu foregoes fifth Olympics to focus on Ducks

ANAHEIM -- The decision became clearer for Saku Koivu in the days and weeks after he came back from a concussion. He missed nearly a month, and even though he rebounded strong, Koivu felt he couldn't be at his best for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and declined what would have been his fifth Olympics.

"It's one of the toughest decisions that I've had to make throughout my career," Koivu said. "Sometimes you might be injured at the time and you're just frustrated that it happens, but this one you have a choice. I thought through it many, many times over the past couple of weeks, and I felt that with the concussion and missing five weeks of playing, I felt the training at that time was fairly limited.

"Being at 39, all of these things together, I felt that, physically, I won't be where I want to be when the tournament comes in … it was a dream for me to be there, but the older you get, you have to stay honest with yourself and I felt for me, it's a better option of not going and getting a proper practice time, training time, a bit of a rest and also where we're at as a team here, hopefully we have a chance to go and do something in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs. Like I said, it wasn't easy at all. I hope I made the right choice."

Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 7:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Luongo injured; Canucks sign local goalie as backup

ANAHEIM -- The Vancouver Canucks signed Rob Laurie to a professional tryout contract to serve as backup goalie Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks after Roberto Luongo was reportedly injured in a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Luongo's status was not immediately known. He was struck high by the leg of Kings captain Dustin Brown in the third period Saturday when Brown crashed the net to score. Luongo stayed down for several moments after the hit.

Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 3:53 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Quick may return to Kings lineup

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Will Jonathan Quick return in net when the Los Angeles Kings play the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night?

It was difficult to tell at the morning skate. Quick and Martin Jones came off the ice at the same time, meaning the only sure thing is that it won't be Ben Scrivens in goal when L.A. tries to end a five-game losing streak.

Coach Darryl Sutter never tips his hand when it comes to the lineup, and he only alluded to the roster change that would be required. The Kings would have to re-assign a player, likely Jones, or put a player on injured reserve in order to make room for Quick.

"We'll either have three [goalies] on our roster tonight or … that's clear," Sutter said. "We need a goalie to win a game for us, and they've taken turns losing games. They need to get in the win column."

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— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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