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Preview: Ducks at Panthers

Forwards Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau return for Florida; Anaheim opens six-game road trip

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

DUCKS (28-15-9) at PANTHERS (22-19-10)

7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, PRIME, NHL.TV


Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks recalled defenseman Shea Theodore from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Thursday, one day prior to the start of a six-game road trip. After facing the Florida Panthers, the Ducks will play at the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild. The move will give the Ducks an extra defenseman for the trip, coach Randy Carlyle said. Theodore, the 26th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 25 games this season. Carlyle had yet to decide if Theodore would play Friday, but expected to play him at some point during the trip. "I think he's got to play no matter if he's here or if he's there [in San Diego]," Carlyle said. "Young players can't sit in the stands for extended periods of time. You can miss a game here or there, but in reality it doesn't do a young player much good if he's continuously sitting in the stands." The Ducks, 10-3-1 in their past 14 games, are three points behind the first-place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division. Goaltender John Gibson is expected to start. He's 8-2-1 with 18 goals allowed in his past 12 games.


Panthers team scope

Panthers forwards Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau each will return, and reunite with forward Jaromir Jagr on Florida's first line. Barkov, 21, has missed the past 15 games with a back injury. Huberdeau, 23, will make his season debut after missing 51 games with an Achilles injury. "We're not going to come here and we're going to win for sure because me and [Barkov] are back," Huberdeau said. "It's a team game and I think we're just pieces of the puzzle and we're just coming in and trying to play our game. We're going to try to keep it simple tonight." It isn't known how much ice time Barkov or Huberdeau would get. "We're going to monitor it throughout the game," coach Tom Rowe said. "We'll just kind of play it literally period by period." Jagr is three points away from becoming the second player in NHL history with 1,900 career points. Wayne Gretzky holds the record with 2,857 points. Goaltender James Reimer, who missed his scheduled start against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, will make his first career start against the Ducks, the only team he has yet to face in his League career. Reimer will be looking for his 100th NHL victory.


Ducks projected lineup

Jakob Silfverberg -- Ryan Kesler -- Andrew Cogliano

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa -- Nate Thompson -- Logan Shaw 

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Korbinian Holzer -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Jared Boll, Shea Theodore

Injured:  Clayton Stoner (lower body), Simon Despres  (upper body) 


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen -- Vincent Trocheck -- Reilly Smith

Jonathan Marchessault -- Michael Sgarbossa -- Nick Bjugstad

Shawn Thornton -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Jason Demers

Mark Pysyk -- Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson -- Alex Petrovic

James Reimer

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Jakub Kindl, Greg McKegg  


Status report

Thompson played 9:54 in a 5-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche in his first game of the season Tuesday after sustaining an Achilles injury in the offseason. … The Panthers assigned forward Paul Thompson to Springfield of the AHL.


Who's hot

Trocheck has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past eight games. … Marchessault has five points (two goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Silfverberg had three points (two goals, one assist) against the Avalanche. 

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