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Ducks look to get back in first place

Host Canucks, can pass idle Kings for first in Pacific

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

CANUCKS (28-36-13) at DUCKS (43-23-10)


ANAHEIM -- With six games remaining in the regular season, the Anaheim Ducks have suddenly been hit hard with injuries and illnesses. Goaltender Frederik Andersen (concussion), forward Rickard Rakell (appendicitis) and defenseman Hampus Lindholm (illness) were all ruled out for the game Friday against the Vancouver Canucks and forward David Perron will be sidelined into the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a separated shoulder sustained March 20.

It's less than ideal timing, as the Ducks are currently one point behind the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division and four points ahead of the San Jose Sharks with a game in hand, but coach Bruce Boudreau said it's nothing they can't handle.

"There's usually one part of the year where everybody seems to get injured and when you don't want it is at the end of the year," Boudreau said. "It is what it is, it's happened here. When we started getting the mumps last year everybody was going down and I think the year before we had three or four MCLs that were done. Guys have seen it and they just have to persevere and go on."

Andersen sustained a concussion during the Ducks' 8-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. He played only 11:32, relieving John Gibson after he collided with Lindholm in the net during the second period. Gibson's injury was minor and he came back in.

"Freddie's was surprising," Boudreau said. "Who would know that in 11 minutes that something would happen. I haven't asked Freddie particularly what event happened."

Rakell missed the game Wednesday with what was initially thought to be the flu, but a visit to the doctor revealed appendicitis. He had an appendectomy on Thursday and will miss one week.

It's the second appendectomy for an Anaheim player this season, as captain Ryan Getzlaf had the same procedure in October. Getzlaf missed four games.

"Must be something in the water out here," Boudreau said, joking. "My mindset, based on what happened to Getzlaf, is that Ricky will probably be a little bit on the same timeline."

Lindholm was sent home with an illness Friday morning. In addition, defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Simon Despres are still out with injuries. Forward Chris Wagner and goalie Anton Khudobin were recalled from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Friday morning.

"We have a lot of guys in here that can play in big games and can step up and play bigger roles," Ducks forward Corey Perry said. "It's an opportunity for some guys to jump in and show what they can do, play more minutes or play a bigger role. Whatever it is, we're excited to see that."

The Canucks, who didn't hold a morning skate following a 4-2 win in San Jose on Thursday, are dealing with injuries of their own. Forward Sven Baertschi played 4:51 against the Sharks before being removed with a lower-body injury. Vancouver is currently carrying two extra defensemen but no extra forwards.

Coach Willie Desjardins said after the game that if Baertschi isn't able to play, a defenseman will be moved up front.

Here are the projected lineups:

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi - Markus Granlund - Linden Vey
Chris Higgins - Bo Horvat - Emerson Etem
Jared McCann - Brendan Gaunce - Alexandre Burrows

Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev
Ben Hutton - Nikita Tryamkin
Matt Bartkowski - Alex Biega

Jacob Markstrom
Ryan Miller

Injured: Alexander Edler (fibula), Brandon Sutter (jaw), Luca Sbisa (upper body), Radim Vrbata (lower body)
Scratched: Yannick Weber, Andrey Pedan

Jamie McGinn - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
Brandon Pirri - Shawn Horcoff - Chris Stewart
Ryan Garbutt - Nate Thompson - Chris Wagner

Cam Fowler - Korbinian Holzer
Shea Theodore - Josh Manson
Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

John Gibson
Anton Khudobin

Injured: David Perron (shoulder), Simon Despres (undisclosed), Kevin Bieksa (upper body), Rickard Rakell (appendicitis), Hampus Lindholm (illness), Frederik Andersen (concussion)
Scratched: Mike Santorelli

Status report: Perron will miss 4-6 weeks from the date of the injury. Perron said he's going to try to beat that timeline in order to return for the postseason. "I'm happy the way it's gone so far," Perron said. "That's definitely my biggest goal, I think (the first round) would be 3 1/2 weeks from my injury. But I think that we have to be smart here too." … Wagner, who signed a two-year contract Friday, was waived by Anaheim earlier this season and claimed by the Colorado Avalanche. He was then waived by the Avalanche and reclaimed by Anaheim on Feb. 25, and sent to San Diego. … Bieksa and Despres are skating with the Ducks but will not be available for their weekend games. … Should Baertschi be unable to play, Weber has moved up front and played on forward lines in the past.

Who's hot: Silfverberg has nine goals and 11 points in the past nine games. … Getzlaf has eight points in the past seven games. … Perry is on a five-game point streak and has points in eight of the past nine games. … Cogliano, who is skating in his 699th game, has nine points in the past nine games. … Horvat has three points in the past five games.


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