Ducks Radio Analyst
DENVER – The Ducks figure to get one reinforcement back from the injured list for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center, but two other key players remain on the sidelines.
Veteran defenseman Aaron Ward, who missed Monday’s 3-1 victory over the visiting Dallas Stars because of a bruised and sprained right ankle, took part in today’s morning skate. All systems appear to be go for Ward, according to both him and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.
Goaltender Jonas Hiller
and top-line center Ryan Getzlaf
, however, did not make the trip to Denver, and their status for Friday’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks remains up in the air.
Hiller was a late scratch Monday after experiencing back spasms during the pregame skate, while Getzlaf has missed the past two games, and five overall, because of a troublesome left-ankle sprain that dates back to early February.
“It’s improved, but you know it’s probably not going to really heal for two or three months,” said Carlyle, who expressed a desire to err on the side of caution with Getzlaf. “If he doesn’t skate tomorrow, he probably won’t be available for Friday. We just think in this situation, it’s best for him to take this time.”
Hiller, meanwhile, was “much-improved” today and will “hopefully be an option for this weekend,” Carlyle said. The Ducks visit the Kings on Saturday night at Staples Center.
Goalie Curtis McElhinney is expected to make his third consecutive start tonight, and seek his fourth consecutive victory, including one he gained in relief of Hiller. Jean-Philippe Levasseur, recalled Tuesday from Springfield of the American League, skated this morning and figures to back up McElhinney.