By Kyle Shohara
The Ducks close out their four-game road trip tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center (4 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket, AM 830). After a season-opening loss at Pittsburgh, the Ducks have reeled of two consecutive wins against the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres.
Tonight’s game concludes Anaheim’s first set of back-to-backs after a dominating 5-1 victory over the Sabres at First Niagara Center yesterday afternoon. In total, the Ducks have 12 sets of back-to-backs this season, the next occurring on October 30 at St. Louis and October 31 at Dallas. The Ducks fared well in back-to-back situations last season, going 20-5-3, including 11-1-2 in the finale.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau will have to shuffle the lines once more tonight, after it was revealed that Patrick Maroon will not play against the Flyers. Maroon suffered a lower-body injury midway through the second period of yesterday’s game and did not return. (More on his injury below). Rickard Rakell is expected to draw back into the lineup.
MAROON INJURY UPDATE
Patrick Maroon will undergo precautionary tests in Anaheim tomorrow for a lower-body injury suffered in yesterday’s 5-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Maroon left the game and was unable to return after receiving a hit from Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges at 11:10 of the second period. The good news is that the injury is not believed to be serious.
Maroon was riding a three-game assist streak (0g/3a) at the time of his injury.
ON THE FLYERS
The Flyers are still in search of their first win of the season after blowing a 3-0 third period lead to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. The game ended in a 4-3 shootout loss for the Flyers, who are 0-2-1 to start the season. To make matters worse, center Vincent Lecavalier suffered a lower-body injury in the game, and is reported to be out two weeks. Lecavalier sustained the injury to his left foot when he was hit by a shot from teammate Mark Streit. Lecavalier had a goal and two assists in three games.
Defenseman Braydon Coburn, also recovering from a lower-body injury, is considered day-to-day, though he won’t play tonight. Coburn has played in one game this season.
The Flyers penalty kill is 6-for-6 at home this season (two games), but they’ll have their work cut out for them as they face the NHL’s ninth-best power play. Anaheim’s power play (4-for-15, 26.7%) has converted in two of the three games thus far, including three goals in the season opener at Pittsburgh. Ryan Kesler (1g/2a), Corey Perry (3g) and Sami Vatanen (3a) lead the Ducks in power-play scoring.
“BIG WILL’S” BIG DAY
William Karlsson posed for photos inside the Ducks locker room yesterday holding up the puck that went top shelf on Michal Neuvirth during Anaheim’s 5-1 victory. His baby face was marred by a small cut above his left cheek -- a battle wound suffered in his first stint in the National Hockey League.
It was Karlsson’s first career NHL goal, one that Neuvirth never saw. The 21-year-old found the net once more in the win, giving him his first career multi-goal game in just his second NHL contest. “It's been a dream since I was a little kid, so it's nice to get the first one,” he said.
Karlsson possesses an impressive shot that has a tendency to find iron, so when he netted two yesterday, defenseman Ben Lovejoy said it was his own advice that the young Swede took note of. “After hitting the post against Detroit, I told him he has to start aiming for the net, not the post,” Lovejoy said. “He hit a bunch in preseason, too. Obviously, he took my advice. He’s been bearing down and putting them in. It’s fun to be on the ice with him. He’s a good player.”