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At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Ducks

by Abbey Mastracco

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer will play against the team that drafted him for the first time Wednesday when the Ducks host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; SNO, FS-W).

Holzer was drafted by Toronto in 2006 and traded to Anaheim on March 2, 2015. The defenseman has been sparsely used this season, having played in only 13 games, but with the Ducks' depth thinned by injuries his presence has been welcome.

"He can sit out a lot of games but he always comes in and works hard," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When he gets in the lineup he does well. I don't know if I could have ever sat out the amount of games that he's done and then stayed with a positive attitude and come in and really contributed."

Even when Holzer wasn't in the lineup, Boudreau said he was still contributing. He was unable to get in a game for Anaheim last season after the trade, but that positive attitude never seemed to waver.

"One of our players said he was the best teammate he's ever seen," Boudreau said. "He got here at the trade deadline and never played a game and we went right until June. He never soured, he never came in grumpy, he stayed on the ice and worked all the time.

"He obviously wanted to play, but that tells you a lot about a teammate. He obviously wanted to play but he couldn't, and this year he's getting rewarded by playing a little bit more."

The Maple Leafs were in a state of disarray the last time they faced the Ducks. The result was a 4-0 Anaheim win on Jan. 15, 2015, with Ducks right wing Corey Perry scoring three of those goals. But Mike Babcock, a coach Anaheim is familiar with, has Toronto in a different place than a season ago.

"I think we're playing a much more organized style with more detail," Toronto left wing James van Riemsdyk said. "In the last couple years, we've been shooting ourselves in the foot too many times just making stupid mistakes. There's a lot less of that this year, and when you don't make as many mistakes you give yourself a chance every night."

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock's style of play is well known in Anaheim. Babcock coached the Ducks from 2002-2005 and also coached Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in the Olympics. From what the Ducks have seen on film, Babcock's influence is obvious.

"I've played for [Babcock] a few times and it's pretty much the same style," Perry said. "You've got to be moving through short shifts and work hard to get off. It's been working for them."

Here are the projected lineups:


James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - PA Parenteau

Michael Grabner - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Daniel Winnik - Mark Arcobello - Joffrey Lupul

Shawn Matthias - Peter Holland - Brad Boyes

Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf

Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly

Martin Marincin - Roman Polak

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Injured: Stephane Robidas (knee), Nick Spaling (upper body), Garret Sparks (lower body), Byron Froese (lower body)

Scratched: Frank Corrado, Antoine Bibeau


Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Carl Hagelin - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Mike Santorelli - Shawn Horcoff - Andrew Cogliano

Patrick Maroon - Nate Thompson - Chris Stewart

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen - Kevin Bieksa

Shea Theodore - Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson

Frederik Andersen

Injured: Simon Despres (concussion), Cam Fowler (knee), Clayton Stoner (undisclosed)

Scratched: Jiri Sekac

Status report: Holzer is taking the place of Stoner in the lineup, who will miss his second straight game with what Boudreau said is bumps and bruises. … Babcock confirmed Bernier will start Wednesday but Reimer (groin) is now healthy and may start Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. Reimer said he's good to go.

Who's hot: Gibson, named to the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, has allowed one goal over his past three starts. … Perry has four goals and an assist over the past six games. … Kesler has scored a goal in each of the past two games. … Bernier has a record of 5-2-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .924 save percentage against the Ducks. … Bozak has nine points in six games against Anaheim.

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