By Kyle Shohara
Anaheim’s five-game road trip is in its ninth and final day, as the club takes on the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena at 4 p.m. PT. Anaheim and Carolina will conclude a two-game season series that began 10 days ago with a 5-4 Ducks overtime win on Feb. 3 at Honda Center.
Although the Ducks have dropped the last three games (one in a shootout), a win tonight would give the Ducks five out of a possible 10 points on this road trip and 77 points overall.
John Gibson is expected to start in goal for Anaheim, while defenseman Hampus Lindholm (lower body) and right wing Jakob Silfverberg (flu) are also expected to return to the lineup.
Gibson was recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League on Tuesday and stopped 15 of 18 shots faced in relief of Ilya Bryzgalov later that night in a 6-2 loss at Florida. Prior to his recall, Gibson went 6-3-2 with one shutout, a 2.07 GAA and .935 SV% in 11 games with the Admirals this season.
Lindholm’s lower-body injury kept him out of the game Tuesday night against the Panthers, but the 21-year-old skated yesterday and took part in the full morning skate at PNC Arena. The same goes for Silfverberg, who also missed Tuesday’s game due to flu-like symptoms.
Expected scratches tonight are left wing Rene Bourque and defenseman Eric Brewer.
The Ducks also announced that the club reassigned center William Karlsson to Norfolk. Karlsson appeared in one game during his most recent recall, going scoreless on Feb. 6 at Washington. The 6-0, 185-pound center has played 17 games with the Ducks this season, recording three points (2g/1a) with a plus-2 rating and two penalty minutes. Selected by Anaheim in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Karlsson has earned 13 points (4g/9a) with two penalty minutes in 29 games for the Admirals this season.EXPECTED LINE COMBINATIONS
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri
Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg
Devante Smith-Pelly - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen
ON THE CANES
The Hurricanes haven’t played since a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday. Having just completed a four-game road trip (which included a Feb. 3 stop at Honda Center), the Hurricanes will go out on the road for two games following tonight’s contest against Anaheim.
Defenseman Ryan Murphy was placed on injured reserve yesterday and is expected to miss significant time due to a leg injury suffered on Feb. 5 at Arizona. Although the injury will not require surgery, as per Hurricanes Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis, Murphy is expected to miss four weeks. The 21-year-old has earned seven points (1g/6a) in 21 games with Carolina this season. Murphy has also appeared in 25 AHL games with Charlotte, and leads the team in assists with 17.
Veteran goaltender Cam Ward is expected to start in net. Ward enters tonight’s festivities with a 13-18-4 record, 2.42 GAA and .913 SV%.