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At the Rink blog

Ducks to go with Andersen in goal

Friday, 11.08.2013 / 3:11 PM

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

ANAHEIM -- Depth at goalie for the Anaheim Ducks has worked out so well that backup Frederik Andersen is 4-0-0 without having started a game at home.

Logic would dictate that coach Bruce Boudreau would go back to Jonas Hiller after a win, but Andersen will get his first home start Friday against the Buffalo Sabres. Andersen was recalled from the American Hockey League when Viktor Fasth was injured, and his adjustment to the NHL has been smooth enough that Boudreau is comfortable going back to him.

"We play Vancouver on Sunday, which I want [Hiller] to play, so it seemed like a good spot for a goalie that's undeterred," Boudreau said. "What I mean by that is that there's no letdown I think in his mind because he's still trying to impress to be here."

Andersen, 24, had 47 games of North American pro experience prior to this season, all with Norfolk of the AHL. Top prospect John Gibson was all the rage in training camp, but Andersen has proven to be capable at this level. Among NHL goalies with four or more games, he ranks second with a .952 save percentage and third with a 1.36 goals-against average.

"We all knew he was a good goalie," defenseman Luca Sbisa said. "You hear what he's done in Sweden and he's been good in the minors, but you just never expect a goalie like that to come in and be as good as Freddie is.

"He doesn't do anything too quick. He doesn't bite on the first deke. He's not scrambling. He's pretty calm. One thing that impresses me a lot is his consistency. Usually goalies like that have a great two games and then you kind of dip a bit, but with him it's been a steady progression."

Anaheim took its first day off in more than two weeks Thursday, but Boudreau didn't know how much it will help.

"Some people say they're refreshed, some other people say they looked lazy," Boudreau said. "The proof will be in the pudding [Friday] watching the energy."

Buffalo played Thursday and only a few players skated. Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sabres and Ducks:

SABRES

Matt Moulson - Cody Hodgson - Tyler Ennis

Steve Ott - Marcus Foligno - Corey Tropp

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Brian Flynn

Ville Leino - Cody McCormick - Drew Stafford

Christian Ehrhoff - Mark Pysyk

Henrik Tallinder - Tyler Myers

Jamie McBain - Rasmus Ristolainen

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov

Injured: Joel Armia (hand), Mike Weber (upper body)

DUCKS

Dustin Penner - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Devante Smith-Pelly - Mathieu Perreault - Teemu Selanne

Kyle Palmieri - Nick Bonino - Emerson Etem

Daniel Winnik - Rickard Rakell - Andrew Cogliano

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy

Bryan Allen - Luca Sbisa

Frederik Andersen

Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Mark Fistric, Patrick Maroon, Sami Vatanen

Injured: Saku Koivu (upper body), Matt Beleskey (hand), Viktor Fasth (lower body), Jakob Silfverberg (hand), Sheldon Souray (wrist)

Note: Fasth took the ice late in practice and Boudreau said he'll be in "full practice mode" Saturday. Beleskey also skated and Boudreau said he believes he could play on the road trip next week. Koivu has been skating on his own but his return is uncertain.

I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game