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At the Rink: Flyers at Ducks

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- One defenseman goes out and another comes in for the injury-plagued Anaheim Ducks, who are expected to have defenseman Clayton Stoner to the lineup Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Honda Center.

Stoner missed five games because of the mumps but has gotten his strength back. He participated in the morning skate and took line rushes with defenseman Sami Vatanen.

"The plan is to be in the lineup tonight," Stoner said. "I felt better today and ready to go."

Stoner's return is timely because defenseman Eric Brewer will miss the next four to six weeks because of a broken bone in his foot. Brewer was acquired Nov. 28 from the Tampa Bay Lightning to help Anaheim's depleted defense but was injured in his second game when he blocked a shot.

The Ducks already are without defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Francois Beauchemin, on top of injuries to goalies John Gibson and Jason LaBarbera.

"It's almost laughter now," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "I've never been through anything like this before.

"I'd hate to have [general manager Bob Murray's] job right now. He's earning his money this month. He's got a lot of work to do. We've got a lot of depth in our organization and we've proven it over the years. And whatever group we've put on the ice we feel pretty comfortable going out there with a chance to win. We'll just continue along that path. It's a lot better to go through that right now than in April."

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau has taken the 162 man-games lost to injury in stride, at least publicly.

"I think we have good depth in this organization and we've used every bit of it so far," Boudreau said. "We just keep going. Our philosophy here is whoever's out, whoever steps in has got to do the job of the guy he's replacing. We don't make a big deal of it. I think that's helped us along the way."

Defenseman Mark Fistric skated at practice Wednesday and Boudreau said he is available to play. However, Boudreau said it's likely that Stoner or Fistric would play, but not both. Fistric is wearing a full cage because of a facial injury and also is recovering from a back injury.

Philadelphia lost 2-1 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday and did not skate. Right wing Vincent Lecavalier was a healthy scratch Tuesday for the first time in his career, and he again skated with the extras, who were the only players at the arena.

The Flyers are 1-8-1 in their past 10 games and have lost eight straight on the road (0-7-1), their longest skid since March 1988.

Here are the expected lineups:


Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds

Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

R.J. Umberger - Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit

Nick Schultz - Braydon Coburn

Luke Schenn - Andrew MacDonald

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Vincent Lecavalier, Michael Del Zotto, Carlo Colaiacovo

Injured: Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), Ryan White (upper body)


Matt Beleskey - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Rene Bourque - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri

Andrew Cogliano - Devante Smith-Pelly - Jakob Silfverberg

Patrick Maroon - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Josh Manson

Hampus Lindholm - Mat Clark

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

Igor Bobkov

Scratched: Mark Fistric

Injured: Eric Brewer (foot), Ben Lovejoy (finger), Francois Beauchemin (finger), John Gibson (groin), Jason LaBarbera (upper body), Dany Heatley (groin)

Status report: Emery skated with the extras, so Mason likely will get the start after being in net Tuesday. … The lines remained the same for Anaheim from practice Tuesday, including Smith-Pelly continuing to get used to playing center.

Who's hot: Beleskey scored his career-high 12th goal Monday and has six points in his past seven games. … Andersen has made a career-high 12 straight starts. … Maroon has four points in five games. … Voracek, second in the League with 32 points, has two goals in the past four games.

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