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game preview

Ducks at Panthers preview

Anaheim goes for third straight victory; Florida tries to start five-game homestand with win

by Harvey Fialkov / Correspondent

DUCKS (4-3-1) at PANTHERS (3-5-0)

7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, KCOP-13, NHL.TV


The Game

The Anaheim Ducks go for their third straight win when they play the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday.

The Ducks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 on Friday, then started a four-game road trip with a 6-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

The Panthers are playing the opener of a five-game homestand. They are 2-1-0 at home this season.


Players to watch

Ducks forward Ondrej Kase has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past two games, including his first two-goal NHL game against the Flyers.

Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau has eight points (three goals, five assists) in eight games this season, and at least one point in seven of those eight games.


They said it

"It's very exciting. It has been a long time coming. I've been looking forward to this for a while … getting the family support." -- Ducks defenseman Jaycob Megna, who was born in nearby Plantation, Florida

"They make you earn everything. I was saying that this morning how strong they are and their presence around the offensive net and blue paint. [We] have to be strong. We got to have heavy sticks tonight and be prepared to play that territorial game and a physical game." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner on the Ducks


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Antoine Vermette -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Derek Grant -- Ondrej Kase

Chris Wagner -- Kalle Kossila -- Logan Shaw

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Francois Beauchemin -- Brandon Montour

Jaycob Megna -- Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson

Reto Berra

Scratched: Dennis Rasmussen , Jared Boll

Injured: Kevin Bieksa (hand), Ryan Miller (wrist), Sami Vatanen (shoulder surgery), Ryan Kesler (hip surgery), Patrick Eaves (illness), Cam Fowler (knee)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Jamie McGinn -- Vincent Trocheck -- Radim Vrbata

Connor Brickley -- Denis Malgin -- Nick Bjugstad

Owen Tippett -- Derek MacKenzie -- Micheal Haley

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

Ian McCoshen -- Alex Petrovic

James Reimer

Antti Niemi

Scratched: MacKenzie Weegar

Injured: Colton Sceviour (upper body), Jared McCann (lower body), Roberto Luongo (hand)


Status report

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said Bieksa will be out for an extended period. He said the injury did not occur during his fight with Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas on Tuesday. … Luongo practiced with goaltending coach Robb Tallas before the morning skate. He has been on injured reserve since injuring his right hand against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 20. Boughner said McCann could return for the morning skate Saturday prior to their game against the Detroit Red Wings, but Sceviour will be out until next week. Niemi practiced with the Panthers for the first time Thursday. He was claimed on waivers from the Penguins on Tuesday. 


Stat pack

The Ducks have 12 goals in their past two games after scoring 12 in their first six games. … The Panthers have allowed four goals in the first period, tied with the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild for the fewest in the NHL. But they have allowed 16 goals in the second period, tied with the Penguins for second-most in the League.

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