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At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Ducks

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com

ANAHEIM -- The Columbus Blue Jackets face a quick turnaround Friday against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; FS-O, PRIME, FS-SD), but coach John Tortorella doesn't see that as an excuse.

The Blue Jackets amassed 26 penalty minutes in an exceptionally physical game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Tortorella said he's looking to see his players exhibit mental toughness to push through any fatigue they might be feeling.

"That's the schedule, so being tired or whatever after a really good game, after a game where we expended a lot of energy, that's a mental state," Tortorella said. "You need to get through that today and be ready to play against a team who is coming on. Anaheim is beginning to find themselves, they're a really good club."

One player in particular Tortorella has come to lean on is center William Karlsson, who was drafted by Anaheim in 2011 and traded to Columbus along with Rene Bourque and a 2015 draft pick, at the NHL Trade Deadline last season.

"The one guy that's stood out that's grabbed a lot of that ice time is the kid Karlsson," Tortorella said. "He hasn't scored a goal, but I rely on him for a lot of different things in the game."

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will return to the lineup after missing the last four games following a non-emergency appendectomy. He took line rushes on the top line with Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry at the morning skate.

"It's always nice to have him back," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "To have him out doesn't make our team any better."

Boudreau said he sees a lot of similarities in the Ducks and Blue Jackets. Each got off to a poor start and has only eight points, but they've won their last two games.

"We just chatted about the similarities," Boudreau said. "Both teams off to a rough start but both teams supposedly are really good teams. Now it's put up or shut up. We're both playing a little bit better and hopefully it can continue."

The Blue Jackets held an optional morning skate and Tortorella said he may make lineup changes but had not yet decided. He did confirm backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney will get the start in place of Sergei Bobrovsky.

Here are the projected lineups:

BLUE JACKETS

Brandon Saad - Brandon Dubinsky - Boone Jenner

Matt Calvert - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson

Scott Hartnell - William Karlsson - Nick Foligno

Gregory Campbell - Alexander Wennberg - Jared Boll

Jack Johnson - David Savard

Ryan Murray - Dalton Prout

Kevin Connauton - Fedor Tyutin

Curtis McElhinney

Sergei Bobrovsky

Injured: David Clarkson (back)

Scratched: Rene Bourque, Kerby Rychel, Cody Goloubef

DUCKS

Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Carl Hagelin - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Andrew Cogliano - Shawn Horcoff - Chris Stewart

Mike Santorelli - Chris Wagner - Max Friberg

Hampus Lindholm - Kevin Bieksa

Cam Fowler - Josh Manson

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Nate Thompson (shoulder), Simon Despres (upper body), Jiri Sekac (ankle), Rickard Rakell (upper body)

Scratched: Harry Zolnierczyk

Status report: The Ducks recalled left wing Zolnierczyk from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Friday. Rakell has not skated since leaving in the second period of the game Wednesday against the Florida Panthers with an upper-body injury. Boudreau said he's unlikely to play Saturday in San Jose.

Who's hot: Getzlaf has 37 points in 32 games against Columbus. His linemate Perry has 17 goals and 32 points in 34 games against the Blue Jackets. … Dubinsky has six points in the past seven games. The Blue Jackets are outscoring opponents 9-3 in the third period.

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