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Ducks' Wisniewski a healthy scratch against Jets

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski will be a scratch for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at Honda Center (CNBC, TVA, SN, PRIME, 10:30 p.m. ET).

Wisniewski said it is disappointing, particularly after he rejoined Anaheim prior to the NHL Trade Deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"You're never really expecting this when you kind of get traded to a playoff-contending team, but it is what it is," Wisniewski said. "You've got to be ready to play when called upon and be a professional, and help in any way possible. [You have to have a] work ethic in practices and try and be a leader, and help out anybody else with whatever you can."

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said he likes the defensive pairing of Clayton Stoner and Sami Vatanen, which leaves no room for Wisniewski, who was brought back to Anaheim because of his physicality and power-play skills.

"They have been teamed up all year, and Sami seems to play his best with … Clayton, and now Clayton's fully healthy, so I don't see why he would lose his position," Boudreau said. "Now that he's healthy I think those two have made a great pair together all year."

Wisniewski, who skated with extra defenseman Korbinian Holzer for the third straight day at the morning skate, said he is healthy and available. Boudreau indicated things could change for Game 2.

"I'd hope to get in there," Wisniewski said. "It's kind of what I'm here to do. Nobody else wants to not play in the playoffs, but it's out of my control."

Left wing Patrick Maroon will start on the top line. Boudreau liked how Maroon played there in the regular-season games against Winnipeg, and Maroon is a big-bodied forward whose style lends itself to the series.

Left wing Emerson Etem skated on the fourth line and appears to have replaced left wing Jiri Sekac. Etem was scratched in six of his final 10 regular-season games but has 11 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience.

"It's a good feeling," Etem said. "I played four games in the playoffs last year. I feel I have a lot to bring to the team … in the sense that [I can help us] get past the second round. I think our depth on this team is better than ever."

Center Chris Wagner and veteran right wing Tim Jackman are expected to make their NHL playoff debuts.

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Drew Stafford - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Jiri Tlusty - Adam Lowry - Lee Stempniak

Chris Thorburn - Jim Slater - Matt Halischuk

Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Injured: Mathieu Perreault (lower body), Grant Clitsome (upper body), Paul Postma (lower body)

Scratched: Jay Harrison, Adam Pardy, Eric O' Dell, Keaton Ellerby, Anthony Peluso, T.J. Galiardi, Andrew Copp


Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri

Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg

Emerson Etem - Chris Wagner - Tim Jackman

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Simon Despres

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

Jason LaBarbera

Injured: Nate Thompson (upper body), John Gibson (upper body)

Scratched: James Wisniewski, Korbinian Holzer, Jiri Sekac, Tomas Fleischmann

Status report: Gibson and Thompson were not on the ice … Getzlaf, as is his tendency, did not skate but is expected to play.

Who's hot: Perry had five goals and three assists in the final 10 games of the regular season. Getzlaf had five goals and four assists in his past 12 games. Cogliano has three goals and two assists in his past games.

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