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Ducks coach Boudreau mulling changes for Game 5

by Shawn Roarke /

ANAHEIM -- There is a chance the Anaheim Ducks could look a bit different for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Ducks had an optional skate Monday to prepare for Game 5 (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) and did not show lines, but coach Bruce Boudreau would not commit to keeping the same lineup that has played in the first four games.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

"I don't know," Boudreau said when asked about the lineup. "It's one of those game-time decisions. We've told the guys coming for warm-up to be ready, you might be put in. We didn't tell anybody this morning that they're definitively playing. Everybody is coming prepared to play."

The Ducks lost 5-4 in the second overtime in Game 4 on Saturday and flew home Sunday. That game came four days after they lost Game 2 in the third overtime at Honda Center.

For Game 3, Chicago made two changes to get fresh legs in the lineup, adding forwards Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg. Those moves did not pay off in Anaheim's 2-1 win, but the Ducks may be thinking of following a similar plan.

Boudreau was asked if forward Tomas Fleischmann or defenseman James Wisniewski were possibilities to enter the lineup and he acknowledged each was a viable option.

Forward Jakob Silfverberg missed time during Game 4, but Boudreau declared him fit for Monday, so it is unclear who Fleischmann would replace.

Fleischmann, a left wing, has an assist and four shots in four 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has 33 games of postseason experience, scoring four goals and nine assists.

"What he brings is experience," Boudreau said. "He's been through these wars. He's played in these games. He's had success in these games. I think earlier on in the playoffs he was very, very good against Winnipeg. So he could bring an option if we choose to go that route."

Wisniewski has not played this postseason after being acquired prior to the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline, but Boudreau has gone out of his way to praise the veteran for his preparation and his mentoring of the young defensemen who are playing ahead of him.

Anaheim has used the same six defensemen throughout the first 13 games of the playoffs, and unless one of them sustained an injury in Game 4, it would seem likely they would all play in Game 5. Boudreau admitted it is harder to introduce a defenseman into the mix this series than it is to do so with a depth forward.

Wisniewski, 31, had five assists in 13 regular-season games for the Ducks and last played on April 11. He has 24 games of postseason experience but has never played past the second round.

Chicago did not skate Monday.

Here are the projected lineups:


Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa

Bryan BickellBrad RichardsPatrick Kane

Patrick SharpAntoine VermetteTeuvo Teravainen

Andrew DesjardinsMarcus KrugerAndrew Shaw

Duncan KeithNiklas Hjalmarsson

Johnny OduyaKyle Cumiskey

Kimmo TimonenBrent Seabrook

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Kris Versteeg, Joakim Nordstrom, David Rundblad, Daniel Carcillo, Antti Raanta

Injured: Michal Rozsival (fractured ankle)


Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Andrew Cogliano - Nate Thompson - Kyle Palmieri

Jiri Sekac - Rickard Rakell - Emerson Etem

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Simon Despres

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

John Gibson

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, James Wisniewski, Chris Wagner, Tomas Fleischmann, Tim Jackman, Jason LaBarbera

Injured: None

Status report: Cumiskey entered the lineup for Game 2 and is settling into the role as the No. 5 defenseman for the Blackhawks. Though the majority of the minutes are claimed by the Blackhawks' top four defenseman, Cumiskey played 13:27 in Game 4 and appeared to get stronger and more confident as the game progressed.

Who's hot: Perry scored in Game 4 and has three goals in his past five games. His nine postseason goals are the second-highest total in the tournament.

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