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Pregame: Bernier, Gibson to Split Duty Tonight

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

Still in search of their first win of the preseason, the Ducks' schedule takes them to Arizona where tonight they'll face the Coyotes at Gila River Arena. It'll be a quick trip for the Ducks, who will depart from Orange County later this afternoon and return immediately following the game.

The players took part in a pregame skate at Honda Center earlier today, and goaltenders Jonathan Bernier and John Gibson are expected to split the duties in net tonight.

Following the club's 6-1 loss in LA on Wednesday night, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said the lineups for the five remaining preseason games would feature a more established NHL presence than the ones used in the two games prior. Defensemen Clayton Stoner and Sami Vatanen are expected to make their preseason debuts, while Antoine Vermette, Ryan Garbutt and pro tryout invitee David Jones are also likely to play.

"We'd like to play to a higher level than we have," said Carlyle. "The lineup we have tonight and the presence of some veterans on the back-end should enable us to do that. It's preseason. We're trying to get our team ready and get a look at some of the young players we have in our stable."

Those players include forwards Nick Sorensen and Nick Ritchie, and defensemen Jacob Larsson, Brandon Montour and Shea Theodore - all of which are expected to play tonight.

"At this point, we're going to give Sorensen, Ritchie, Montour, Theodore and Larsson as much ice time as we possibly can over the next two games to see where things shake out for them," said Carlyle.

After Theodore made a splash in his rookie stint last season with the Ducks, the 21-year-old knows he'll need to raise his level of play if he hopes to crack the opening night roster.

"I need to get my own game going and establish myself on the blueline," said Theodore. "Pick up the pace, move the puck and try to get my feet going. Obviously we have to play better. We haven't played to our potential in the first two games."

NHL regulars expected to play for Arizona are forwards Anthony Duclair, Max Domi, Jamie McGinn and captain Shane Doan, and defensemen Connor Murphy and Alex Goligoski. Marek Langhamer is expected to get the nod in net with veteran Mike Smith as his backup.

Laganiere-Vermette-D. Jones




10 - Duclair
16 - Domi
18 - Dvorak
19 - Doan
20 - Strome
29 - Perlini
36 - Fischer
38 - Merkley
51 - Mueller
67 - Crouse
76 - Dauphin
88 - McGinn

5 - Murphy
6 - Chychrun
21 - McBain
33 - Goligoski
43 - Mermis
65 - Wood

30 - Langhamer
41 - Smith

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