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At the Rink blog

Ducks, Blue Jackets each short a defenseman

Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 3:56 PM

By Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Ducks, Blue Jackets each short a defenseman

ANAHEIM – The Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets each will be missing a piece of their defense Wednesday night.

Luca Sbisa will sit out with what Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau referred to as general soreness, and Columbus' Adrian Aucoin has a lower-body injury.

Sbisa appeared on the ice briefly at the morning skate then ducked back inside.

"He tried it and he said, 'Not tonight,'" Boudreau said.

It appears rookie Sami Vatanen will take Sbisa's place in the lineup. Vatanen played three games in February. He brings more offensive flair and likely will see time on the power play like he did in his first stint.

"I've been playing pretty good right now down in Norfolk, so I hope it helps a little bit to go on," Vatanen said.

Columbus coach Todd Richards said Tim Erixon will go in for Aucoin. Erixon has been scratched the past five games and injured in the two previous games. Richards said he expected Nikita Nikitin to play despite also being banged up.

Anahiem's defense is also without Cam Fowler, who skated but will miss a second straight game and is out until at least Friday with an upper-body injury from Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

"It's not going to take Cam a long time to get back into game readiness once he's cleared for contact," Boudreau said.

BLUE JACKETS

Vinny ProspalMark LetestuMarian Gaborik

R.J. UmbergerRyan JohansenNick Foligno

Matt CalvertBrandon DubinskyCam Atkinson

Blake Comeau - Derek MackenzieJared Boll

Fedor TyutinJack Johnson

James WisniewskiTim Erixon

Dalton ProutNikita Nikitin

Sergei Bobrovsky

Michael Leighton

Scratched: Colton Gillies, David Savard

Injured: Artem Anisimov (head), Adrian Aucoin (lower body)

Notes: Bobrovsky is expected to make a ninth straight start. Richards, asked how he's managed Bobrovsky, said, "I try to keep as far away from him as I can. As far as from a coach-player relationship, he's perfect. He'll communicate with you. He doesn't get locked into his own world and close everything out on a game day. He's still a good teammate. He'll talk. He's got his routines that he does so he can prepare."

DUCKS

Kyle PalmieriRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Bobby RyanSaku KoivuAndrew Cogliano

Matt BeleskeyMatthew LombardiTeemu Selanne

Daniel WinnikDavid SteckelEmerson Etem

Sheldon Souray - Francois Beauchemin

Bryan AllenSami Vatanen

Toni LydmanBen Lovejoy

Viktor Fasth

Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Radek Dvorak, Brad Staubitz, Jordan Hendry

Injured: Luca Sbisa (soreness), Cam Fowler (upper body), Nick Bonino (lower body)

Notes: Boudreau again mixed up his lines, notably moving Ryan off the top line, in order to generate more scoring – the Ducks have scored four goals in three games. But the coach said he wants the line identities to form before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I'd like the last three or four games for us to have our units together," Boudreau said. "Obviously I would like to have everybody, in a perfect world, confident in who they're playing with and going into the games knowing who they're going to play with. In case of injury you can't do that. But it's something I'm cognizant of and I think it is important now to start finalizing lines."

Bonino has been skating for nearly a week and aims to get into a game sometime on the club's four-game road trip. He has been out since March 8.

"It's crazy. I've never had anything like this," Bonino said. "You're sitting out watching the team for the last 20 games. It's frustrating."

Quote of the Day

I just wanted to do something to take my mind off the shot and let me relax a little bit. It seemed like the fans liked it. I'm glad I was able to score.

— Oilers forward Taylor Hall on lifting his arms to fire up the crowd before his penalty shot
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