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At the Rink: Ducks at Blues

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The level of urgency for the Anaheim Ducks continues to mount with each passing game.

When the Ducks wrap up their five-game trip Thursday against the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-SD, FS-MW), they look to pick up their first road win after going 0-3-1.

A team touted as a favorite to represent the Western Conference and perhaps win the Stanley Cup prior to the season, the Ducks (1-6-2) have found themselves in a difficult predicament with little to no margin for error anymore.

"Look at our record," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Of course the level of urgency is as high as it can be.

"… Our sense of urgency is not like if we were 6-1. There's only so many points on the table in 82 games. If you look at what made the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs last year, you might just use that as a board here, then you'd have to start winning some games; they have to start putting some games together to be successful. There's 70-plus games left, but at the same time, if you have to get 99 points to get into the playoffs, that's 47 wins for us right now, and that's not an easy task."

The Blues (6-2-1), who are expected to insert forward Ty Rattie into the lineup to replace Scottie Upshall, are mindful of the Ducks, who they are and what they're capable of.

Coach Ken Hitchcock noted Anaheim's past two games as springboards of what the Ducks have the capability to be.

"I've been very impressed with the last two games," Hitchcock said of the Ducks. "They've played good. You run out of a little bit of steam in Dallas off back-to-back coming out of Chicago; that's not easy. For five of the last six periods, they've been very impressive.

"If that's the way they're going to play, they're going to win a lot of hockey games because they look like they're right back on track to be honest with you."

Frederik Andersen will get the start in goal for Anaheim; Jake Allen will start for St. Louis after a 26-save shutout victory Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here are the projected lineups:


Carl Hagelin - Ryan Kesler - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Shawn Horcoff - Jakob Silfverberg

Jiri Sekac - Rickard Rakell - Chris Stewart

Patrick Maroon - Chris Wagner - Mike Santorelli

Cam Fowler - Korbinian Holzer

Hampus Lindholm - Kevin Bieksa

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Ryan Getzlaf (appendicitis), Simon Despres (upper body), Josh Manson (upper body), Nate Thompson (shoulder)

Scratched: Tim Jackman, Joe Piskula


Alexander Steen - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin - David Backes - Troy Brouwer

Robby Fabbri - Scott Gomez - Ty Rattie

Steve Ott - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Paul Stastny (foot), Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body)

Scratched: Chris Butler, Scottie Upshall

Status report: Shattenkirk skated with the optional players Thursday morning but will miss a seventh consecutive game. Upshall skated after not practicing Wednesday, and Hitchcock said they'll likely skate him Friday and insert him back into the lineup Saturday. … Getzlaf is on a timetable of missing 4-12 days after having an appendectomy Wednesday.

Who's hot: Allen is 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and .981 save percentage with one shutout in two games against the Ducks. … Andersen is 4-0-0 with a 1.75 GAA, .948 save percentage and one shutout in four starts against St. Louis. Stewart has nine goals and seven assists in 14 games against his former team.

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