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At the Rink: Islanders at Ducks

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- It was easy to surmise that Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen would return to the lineup Wednesday against the New York Islanders at Honda Center. Andersen was first off the ice and said he felt fine after leg tightness forced him to miss the previous game. He seemed to indicate he was in but said he would talk later with coach Bruce Boudreau, who wouldn't commit to Andersen or backup goalie Jason LaBarbera for the Ducks' game Wednesday against the New York Islanders.

Andersen did deem himself available after he practiced for the second straight day.

"I'm feeling way better than [Tuesday]," Andersen said. "[I'll] just keep going on and improving every day.

"I've skated twice in five days so … you've got to get back into your rhythm again but I'm sure I'll be [quickly] out there and feeling fine out there. But we'll see when I'll be able to play again."

Andersen had tightness and wasn't available last Sunday and goalie John Gibson is out for six weeks with a groin injury. The Ducks recalled goalie Igor Bobkov from the American Hockey League in case Andersen isn't available or if LaBarbera gets hurt.

It would seem logical for Anaheim to give Andersen more time to rest and use him Friday against the Arizona Coyotes. Boudreau said that Andersen and LaBarbera are available and didn't elaborate.

Anaheim has played great defense in front of whoever is in goal. The Ducks have allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of 13 games this season and they were the first team to 10 wins.

The Islanders are trying to avoid a fourth straight loss. They have been outscored 8-1 and are 0-for-9 on the power play in the first two games of their trip. A three-day break allowed them to do some team bonding, and right wing Kyle Okposo said the offense will get back on track.

"I think we're OK," Okposo said. "Before two games ago we scored the most goals in the League. We have the talent here to do it. We have the team to do it. We just have to make sure we're capitalizing on our opportunities and play sound defensively."

Boudreau, as is his tendency, praised the opposition.

"I see a scary team," Boudreau said. "They've always scared me. When I was in Washington they scared me. They've got guys that can fly. They've added four major pieces to their puzzle in the offseason that I think are very good. They're a fun team to watch if you're a spectator but a scary team to play against."

Here are the projected lineups:


Nikolay Kulemin - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Anders Lee - Frans Nielsen - Mikhail Grabovski

Cory Conacher - Brock Nelson - Cal Clutterbuck

Matt Martin - Ryan Strome - Eric Boulton

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Thomas Hickey - Lubomir Visnovsky

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic

Jaroslav Halak

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Casey Cizikas, Matt Donovan, Brian Strait

Injured: Josh Bailey (hand), Matt Carkner (back), Michael Grabner (lower body)


Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Devante Smith-Pelly

Matt Beleskey - William Karlsson - Jakob Silfverberg

Emerson Etem - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Clayton Stoner - Josh Manson

Frederik Andersen

Jason LaBarbera

Scratched: Dany Heatley, Igor Bobkov, Rickard Rakell

Injured: John Gibson (groin), Bryan Allen (lower body), Kyle Palmieri (ankle), Mark Fistric (back)

Status report: Anaheim did not appear to do line rushes. ... Heatley has been a healthy scratch the past two games, when the Ducks have gone with Maroon. ... Palmieri skated Wednesday and Boudreau estimated that he could return in two weeks. … Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Boulton will go in for Cizikas. ... Halak was first off the ice. ... Visnovsky said he was excited to play against Anaheim for the first time since he left in 2012.

Who's hot: Perry has an NHL-leading 11 goals in 13 games, the most scored by an Anaheim player at this stage of a season. ... Kesler has eight points in his first 13 games with the Ducks. ... Vatanen has a career-high three power-play goals. ... Okposo has four goals and an assist in five games against Anaheim.

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