By Kyle Shohara
Morning Skate Photos
Jiri Sekac is in the building. The 22-year-old left wing, acquired yesterday from Montreal in exchange for Devante Smith-Pelly, joined his new teammates for the morning skate earlier today at Honda Center.
Sekac will wear No. 46 for the Ducks, but has not yet been cleared to play because a U.S. work visa is still in the process of being obtained. If it’s obtained before game time, Sekac will play, according to head coach Bruce Boudreau.
After the skate, Sekac (pronounced SEH-katch), shared his thoughts on starting a new chapter in his life.
“I’m excited to be a part of this organization,” he said. “It’s a lot changing, and it’s been a little tough for me, but hopefully everything will work out well for me here. I’m excited to be here.”
Sekac has appeared in 50 career NHL games with Montreal, scoring 16 points (7g/9a) with 18 penalty minutes this season. He made his NHL debut on Oct. 8, 2014 at Toronto, and recorded his first career multi-point game (1g/1a) on Nov. 8 vs. Minnesota and his first career two-goal game Dec. 12 vs. Los Angeles.
“It’s another opportunity in a completely different city,” he said. “The pressure to win is still the same, but with the way it is in Montreal, it’s very tough. It’s a tough place to play. If you don’t have success, then the media and everyone will be on you.”
Although No. 26 was available, Sekac admitted it was time for something different. “I didn’t have good memories with that number,” he said. “The number  didn’t have any meaning to me. I needed a change.”
“We know he has skill, he can skate, and he’s got a good shot,” said Boudreau. “We move people around in our top-nine [forwards] until we find the right spot for them. I assume that’ll be the same case here.” Sekac skated on a line with Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler.
MANNING THE CREASE
John Gibson will make his seventh consecutive start tonight after coming off a 35-save performance in Anaheim’s come-from-behind 4-3 shootout victory vs. Detroit on Monday night. Gibson is 4-2-0 in the seven games since his recall from Norfolk of the American Hockey League. Jason LaBarbera will serve as the backup netminder.
Frederik Andersen was also on the ice facing shots, but is still not ready to return to the lineup. Andersen has been on injured reserve since Feb. 8. “When he’s ready to go, he’ll be the one who lets us know,” said Boudreau. “I’ll know more when he has another full practice tomorrow.”
William Karlsson took Nate Thompson’s spot on the fourth line this morning with Patrick Maroon and Rene Bourque. Thompson suffered a lower-body injury on Monday night.
As for Matt Beleskey (upper body), Boudreau says he’s hopeful the club’s second-leading goal scorer returns to skating at the end of this week. Beleskey was injured Feb. 15 vs. Washington.