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Preview: Ducks at Avalanche

Ryan Getzlaf returns for Anaheim, goalie Semyon Varlamov to play for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DUCKS (22-13-8) at AVALANCHE (13-25-1)

9 p.m. ET; ALT2, PRIME, NHL.TV


Ducks team scope

Ryan Getzlaf will be in the lineup for the Anaheim Ducks after missing four games because of a lower-body injury. Getzlaf will center a line with left wing Rickard Rakell and right wing Corey Perry. He was injured Jan. 1 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Coach Randy Carlyle hopes Getzlaf's return will spark Perry, who has gone 13 games without a goal, and take some pressure off the Andrew Cogliano -Ryan Kesler- Jakob Silfverberg line, which has combined for six goals and four assists in the Ducks' 4-1-0 run. The Ducks are 5-1-3 in their past nine games, outscoring opponents 19-16. "We're looking for balance," Carlyle said. "We know our big guys are capable of putting the puck in the net and creating offense. We can win with a limited amount of offense as long as our defense is strong. Sure we'd like to create more offense, but it's all about winning games and you're going to have to win in different ways and find ways to manufacture points." Goalie John Gibson will make his 10th consecutive start. He made 34 saves Tuesday in a 2-0 win against the Dallas Stars. Gibson is 6-1-3 with two shutouts, a 1.76 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in his past 10 starts.


Avalanche team scope

Goalie Semyon Varlamov will start for the first time since Dec. 22 when he allowed five goals on 18 shots in the Colorado Avalanche's 6-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He missed six games because of a groin injury and was the backup Jan. 6 in a 2-1 overtime win against the New York Islanders on Friday, when the Avalanche ended a 10-game home losing streak. They are coming off their bye period. "I think it's a little bit of a double-edged sword," coach Jared Bednar said of the five-day break. "It's done our group some good with the energy; we seem a little rejuvenated getting ready to start the second half. We had a good practice [Thursday] with some passion. Guys seem like the weight of the world's been lifted off them a little bit. It's dangerous, though, because you're playing a good team coming in here that's been playing some good hockey and they'll be sharp. We have to make sure that rust isn't a factor for us." Defenseman Francois Beauchemin is looking forward to playing against his former teammates. He spent parts of nine seasons with Anaheim and was part of the Ducks' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2007. "It's always special when you play against them [after] you win a championship with them," he said. "We went through a lot." Forward Blake Comeau will play his 600th NHL game.


Ducks projected lineup

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg 

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase 

Joseph Cramarossa -- Logan Shaw -- Jared Boll 

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen 

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson 

Shea Theodore -- Kevin Bieksa 

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier 

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Stefan Noesen, Chris Wagner

Injured: Simon Despres (upper body), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Nate Thompson (torn Achilles)


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Matt Nieto -- Matt Duchene -- Rene Bourque

Blake Comeau -- Carl Soderberg -- Jarome Iginla 

Cody McLeod -- Mikhail Grigorenko -- Andreas Martinsen

Fedor Tyutin -- Tyson Barrie 

Francois Beauchemin -- Nikita Zadorov 

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Goloubef

Semyon Varlamov

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Joe Colborne, Eric Gelinas, John Mitchell

Injured: Erik Johnson (broken fibula)


Status report

The Ducks recalled Theodore and Noesen from San Diego of the American Hockey League and returned defenseman Brandon Montour. Theodore will be paired with Bieksa The Ducks said Holzer is tending to a family matter and might rejoin them Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes ... Mitchell will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season.


Who's hot

Kesler has four goals in the past five games. Silfverberg has one goal and two assists in his past two games. ... Barrie has one goal and seven assists in the past seven games. Iginla has an assist in each of the past two games.

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