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Preview: Ducks at Lightning

Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen questionable; Tampa Bay forward Ondrej Palat likely out

by Corey Long / Correspondent

DUCKS (28-16-9) at LIGHTNING (22-24-6)


Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks will play the second leg of back-to-back games in Florida as part of a six-game road trip. Defenseman Sami Vatanen is questionable with a lower-body injury after leaving during the second period of a 2-1 loss at the Florida Panthers on Friday. Coach Randy Carlyle told the Orange County Register that Vatanen was squeezed along the boards but had no further update on his status. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier is expected to start after John Gibson made 35 saves against the Panthers. The Ducks are three points behind the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games.

Lightning team scope

The Tampa Bay Lightning likely will be without forward Ondrej Palat, who sustained a lower-body injury in a 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Palat, who has 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 47 games, is day to day, said coach Jon Cooper. Goaltender Ben Bishop has a 6-0-2 career record against the Ducks with a .960 save percentage and 1.15 goals-against average, and made 19 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss at Anaheim on Jan. 17. The Lightning are 1-4-2 in their past seven games and 1-5-0 in their past six games at Amalie Arena. "We just need to win and enjoy what it feels like to win a game again," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "Just worry about our opponent [Saturday], one of the best teams in the league, stick to our system and pull out a win.

Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa -- Nate Thompson -- Logan Shaw

Cam Fowler -- Shea Theodore

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Korbinian Holzer -- Kevin Bieksa

Jonathan Bernier

John Gibson

Scratched: Jared Boll

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

Lightning projected lineup

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Tyler Johnson -- Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn -- Brayden Point -- Jonathan Drouin

Brian Boyle -- Valtteri Filppula -- Joel Vermin

Gabriel Dumont -- Cedric Paquette -- J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Braydon Coburn -- Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison -- Andrej Sustr

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Luke Witkowski

Injured: Ondrej Palat (lower body), Ryan Callahan (hip), Steven Stamkos (knee injury), Michael Bournival (upper body), Adam Erne (broken foot)

Status report

Vermin, recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League early Saturday, was on the ice for the Lightning's morning skate. … Bournival participated in the morning skate but remains in a red no-contact jersey.

Who's hot

Silfverberg had two goals and one assist against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. ... Johnson has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games. Killorn has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past four games. Hedman has three assists in his past two game.

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