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Andersen on IR, Ducks start Bryzgalov vs. Panthers

by Alain Poupart /

DUCKS (34-13-7) at PANTHERS (23-17-11)


SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Anaheim Ducks will turn to veteran goalie Ilya Bryzgalov when they face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday after placing goaltender Frederik Andersen on injured reserve.

Bryzgalov has struggled since joining the Ducks on Dec. 9, going 1-3-1 with a 3.95 goals-against average and an .859 save percentage but he's coming off his best start of the season. He made 32 saves in regulation and overtime in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 6.

To replace Andersen the Ducks recalled opening-night starting goalie John Gibson from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. Gibson went 2-2-0 with a 2.28 GAA???and a .927 save percentage in four games with the Ducks before sustaining a groin injury in pregame warmups Nov. 2.

Gibson missed 21 games before being reassigned Dec. 17 to Norfolk, where he is 6-3-2 with a .935 save percentage in 11 games.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said the decision to go with Bryzgalov instead of Gibson was pretty simple.

"Bryz is our second goalie right now,"???Boudreau said. "[Gibson] is the guy in Norfolk waiting for his chance again. [Bryzgalov] came off his big game. I???think it would be a real kick in the butt if all of a sudden [Gibson] comes up here and we're throwing the youngster in. [Bryzgalov has] got a chance to prove himself again and to sort of end the stigma of what happened the first three or four times he started. It's a great opportunity for him."

Andersen sustained an upper-body injury during the Ducks' 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.

This will be the second and last game of the season between Florida and Anaheim. Florida won 6-2 at Honda Center on Nov. 16. It was the Panthers' most lopsided victory of the season and tied for the Ducks' most lopsided defeat.

"It's something that Bruce has brought up a lot,"???Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "He has continued to remind us of that feeling, how they outplayed us, outworked us that night. Hopefully we can get them back tonight. He reminded us before practice yesterday and again before practice today, and I'm sure it'll come up a few more times tonight."

Florida center Nick Bjugstad had a career-high four points (two goals, two assists) in the game at Anaheim, and Brad Boyes had two goals and an assist.

"It was one of those games everything was just happening,"???Bjugstad said. "It was a fun one to be a part of, especially in their barn. Usually a tougher place to play. When I was younger I???looked up to a lot of the guys that play on [the Ducks], so it was pretty fun to be a part of that game."

Anaheim began the day second in the NHL standings with 75 points, one behind the Nashville Predators, who have one game in hand and play the Tampa Bay Lightning at home Tuesday.

Florida is six points behind the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs but has two games in hand. Boston plays the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

The Panthers will be without defenseman Willie Mitchell (upper body)???for a third consecutive game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri

Jakob Silfverberg - Rickard Rakell - Tim Jackman

Devante Smith-Pelly - Nate Thompson - Andrew Cogliano

Ben Lovejoy - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Eric Brewer

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Ilya Bryzgalov

John Gibson

Scratched: Rene Bourque, William Karlsson

Injured: Frederik Andersen (upper body), Hampus Lindholm (lower body)


Jussi Jokinen - Nick Bjugstad - Jimmy Hayes

Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Brad Boyes

Brandon Pirri - Dave Bolland - Tomas Fleischmann

Sean Bergenheim - Derek MacKenzie - Shawn Thornton

Brian Campbell - Aaron Ekblad

Dmitry Kulikov - Erik Gudbranson

Steven Kampfer - Alex Petrovic

Roberto Luongo

Al Montoya

Scratched:?????????Tomas Kopecky, Scottie Upshall

Injured: Willie Mitchell (upper body)

Status report: Silfverberg missed the morning skate because of illness and Boudreau said he would be a game-time decision. ... Lindholm took part in the morning skate but wasn't expected to play; he was injured in the loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. ... Thornton will play for the second time since Jan. 9. ... Panthers coach Gerard Gallant continues to say that Mitchell, who hasn't played since Feb. 3 against the New York Islanders, is day-to-day.

Who's hot:???????????????????????????Fleischmann has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak after being a healthy scratch three times in a four-game stretch. ... Pirri has six goals in his past eight games. ... Kesler has three goals and five assists in the past eight games. ... Getzlaf has a goal and an assist in each of his past two games. ... Perry, who was named the NHL Second Star of the Week on Monday, has four goals and three assists during his five-game point streak.

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