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Ducks' Ritchie to make NHL debut against Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg /

DUCKS (5-8-4) at HURRICANES (6-9-2)


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Forward Nick Ritchie, the No. 10 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, will make his debut Monday for the Anaheim Ducks when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.

Ritchie had nine goals in 12 games for San Diego of the American Hockey League at the time of his recall. He will skate on a line with Ryan Kesler and Chris Stewart.

"He's a big guy, we want to see what he can do," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If you bring up your prize rookie from the minors, you don't want to play him six minutes. You want to see if he can play."

With his teammates teasing him as he spoke to the media, Ritchie explained he wanted to keep things simple playing with a couple veterans in his first game.

"Obviously they're both pretty good players in this League," he said. "It's going to be a pretty good opportunity for me tonight. I'm just going to play my game and hopefully I can help those guys."

The Ducks have scored the fewest goals in the League (28), and after a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday, Boudreau felt they needed a different look.

"We just looked at the last game and realized we needed different types of individuals out there," he said. "It's probably more on that side of it than it was sending a message to everybody else."

The goaltending matchup will be an interesting subplot. Anton Khudobin will start for the Ducks. He was acquired from Carolina on June 27, the same day the Hurricanes traded for Eddie Lack, who will start at the other end.

Lack has played eight games against Anaheim (2-4-2), the most of any opponent he has faced.

"They have a lot of big bodies up front," said Lack, who will make his fifth start of the season. "You've got to keep an extra eye on those guys."

Khudobin, who played two seasons in Carolina, is looking forward to the start.

"It was a really cool time here," he said. "(But) a game is a game. You try to get the best result out if it. It's not because I played for Carolina."

With Anaheim scheduled to play the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, goalie Frederik Andersen will start the second of the back-to-back set.

"I think [Khudobin] would like to play against these guys, good or bad, so we gave him that start here," Boudreau said.

Carolina will be without puck-moving defenseman Ryan Murphy, who sustained a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Michal Jordan takes his place in the lineup.

Here are the projected lineups:


Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie - Ryan Kesler - Chris Stewart

Andrew Cogliano - Shawn Horcoff - Carl Hagelin

Patrick Maroon - Mike Santorelli - Jakob Silfverberg

Cam Fowler - Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Anton Khudobin

Frederik Andersen

Injured: Nate Thompson (shoulder), Jiri Sekac (ankle), Simon Despres (concussion)

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Michael Sgarbossa


Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Kris Versteeg

Chris Terry - Victor Rask - Joakim Nordstrom

Nathan Gerbe - Jay McClement - Andrej Nestrasil

Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk

John-Michael Liles - Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin - Michal Jordan

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Injured: James Wisniewski (knee), Ryan Murphy (concussion)

Scratched: Brad Malone

Status update: Hanifin will take Murphy's spot on the first power-play unit, paired with Faulk. … The Ducks also recalled Sgarbossa, who has yet to make his Anaheim debut.

Who's hot: Eric Staal has five assists in the past five games. … Perry has three goals in the past two games. Rakell has three assists in the past two games.

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