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Ducks' Fleischmann in for Etem vs. Blackhawks

by Shawn Roarke /

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks may look a bit different when they take the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

It appears that veteran forward Tomas Fleischmann will replace Emerson Etem in the lineup for the second time during the series. Etem played in the first four games but was taken out for Fleischmann in Game 5. Etem returned to the lineup in Game 6, a 5-2 loss in Chicago.

Now Fleischmann is back in as coach Bruce Boudreau will opt for an experienced player he trusts. Boudreau and Fleischmann have a relationship that dates to the 2005-06 season when Fleischmann played for Boudreau with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League during the 2005-06 season. That spring Fleischmann had 11 goals and 32 points in 20 games to help the Bears to the 2006 Calder Cup championship

"I just think an experienced guy, he's been through these wars, he's played in Game 7s, he's been in championship games," Boudreau said of Fleischmann, who has one assist in five games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. "Like I said, when I was with Hershey, it was a while ago but he was the MVP in the playoffs. So he knows what to do in these situations."

Fleischmann was the leading scorer in the AHL in the postseason that spring, but Hershey goaltender Frederic Cassivi was named MVP.

Which line Fleischmann will play on remains to be seen. The Ducks mixed their lines at practice Friday, tinkering with the look of the third and fourth lines. Right wing Kyle Palmieri was moved from the third line and replaced by fourth-line right wing Jiri Sekac during line rushes. The fourth line was Palmieri, Fleischmann and center Rickard Rakell.

Anaheim did not do line rushes at a well-attended optional morning skate at Honda Center, but Etem stayed out late with the other extra players.

The Blackhawks did not hold a morning skate.

Here are the projected lineups:


Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Brad Richards - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Antoine Vermette - Teuvo Teravainen

Andrew Desjardins - Marcus Kruger - Andrew Shaw

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Kyle Cumiskey - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - David Rundblad

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Kris Versteeg, Kimmo Timonen, Daniel Carcillo, Joakim Nordstrom, Ville Pokka, Phillip Danault, Ryan Hartman, Viktor Svedberg, Trevor van Riemsdyk

Injured: Michal Rozsival (fractured left ankle)


Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Andrew Cogliano - Nate Thompson - Jiri Sekac

Tomas Fleischmann - Rickard Rakell - Kyle Palmieri

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Simon Despres

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

John Gibson

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, James Wisniewski, Chris Wagner, Emerson Etem, Tim Jackman, Jason LaBarbera

Injured: None

Status report: Kane and Toews rarely play together, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will use them on the top line whenever he's looking for an offensive spark. If the Blackhawks start slow, look for Hossa and Kane to switch lines. ... Timonen appears to be headed for a healthy scratch, which would be his second in a row. Rundblad likely will play his second straight game in Timonen's spot. … Anaheim's centers will be in the spotlight in Game 7. The home team has won the faceoff battle in five of the first six games. Boudreau said the Ducks need to win more faceoffs than it loses to have the puck possession they want and dictate matchups more effectively as the team with the last change. Kesler, Getzlaf and Thompson each have won more than 50 percent of their draws in the postseason. "I know who's good and who struggles," Boudreau said. "Whether it's against any one of their players in particular doesn't really matter. If we've got a guy struggling in his own zone he won't be taking faceoffs in his own zone."

Who's hot: Keith has points in four of the six games, all assists, including five during a three-game point streak. … Silfverberg has four assists in his past three games and 13 assists during the playoffs, the third-highest total in the League.

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