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Off Centers

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Adam Brady

Already without center Doug Weight because a shoulder injury for the last five games and possibly much longer, the Ducks lost two more centers to injury in last night’s 3-2 shootout win over Colorado.

Todd Marchant and rookie Ryan Carter both left the game with injuries and didn’t return, and will be out for at least tomorrow night’s matchup with St. Louis. Marchant suffered a strained shoulder during the second period, while Carter fractured his left wrist (through it was originally announced as a bruised forearm) on a freak play in the first period.

Carter was checked into the boards by Colorado defenseman Jeff Finger and his hand went through the photographer’s hole, breaking off the protective covering.

It was a freak accident,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle after today’s practice. “I haven’t seen anything like that – ever.”

Carter has four goals in his last six games and has been a valuable asset to the Ducks in the injury absences of centers Samuel Pahlsson and Weight.

“It’s unfortunate for a young player who was earning minutes and making a contribution in his first year,” Carlyle said, though he wouldn’t elaborate on how long Carter would be unavailable beyond tomorrow night.

“We’ll wait before we put a time frame on it,” he said. “Obviously, he’s not available for the next couple of games. We’ll see how the healing process goes.”

Carter was unavailable after practice, but Todd Marchant was able to talk about his shoulder strain, which will also keep him out of tomorrow night’s game. Marchant said it happened at the end of the second period, right after he jumped on the ice on a change.

“I tried to cut up the middle, and the defenseman came in on my back side,” Marchant said. “I was trying to turn up ice, thinking I had a breakaway. But that didn’t work out so well. He collided with my shoulder and jammed it.”

When asked which shoulder it was, Marchant slyly said, “Just shoulder.” He was equally vague about his recovery time. “We’ll just have to wait and see,” Marchant said. “I’ve injured the other shoulder before. These kind of get better pretty quickly on a day-to-day basis. The first couple of days you let the inflammation settle down. Hopefully it won’t be too long.

Like they did for some shifts last night, the Ducks may use Todd Bertuzzi at center, a position he has played a bit during his career. “We’ll revisit that,” Carlyle said. Anaheim will later announce a call-up from their AHL affiliate in Portland. (Update: Ducks recall Ebbett)

“Injuries are part of the game and every team has to deal with them,” Carlyle said. “We’re not any different.”

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