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Pirri could make Ducks debut against Rangers

Forward acquired at deadline has missed past 13 games with ankle injury

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

RANGERS (39-23-7) at DUCKS (38-21-9)

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; SN1, MSG+, FS-W, NHL.TV

ANAHEIM -- Forward Brandon Pirri could make his Anaheim Ducks debut Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

Pirri was acquired from the Florida Panthers on Feb. 28 prior to the NHL Trade Deadline but has been recovering from an ankle injury. He's missed 13 games but has been skating on his own since the trade and was finally able to practice with the Ducks last week.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Pirri will be activated off injured reserve but Boudreau hasn't yet decided if he will use Pirri or Mike Santorelli.

"Whether he just comes in and gets acclimated for warmup or whether we throw him in, we'll decide at game time," Boudreau said. "I don't really know him that well as a player. I know he's got a tremendous shot, he's an offensive player, he's one of those you give him one chance and he scores. That's the offensive part of it, but I haven't seen film of him defensively or any of that."

At the morning skate Wednesday, Pirri skated on the top line with David Perron and Ryan Getzlaf. Pirri said he hopes his shoot-first style will complement Getzlaf's passing ability.

"If you screw that up, there's something wrong with you," Pirri said. "I'm just going to be ready to shoot everything. That's my game, and playing with a guy like him, it's being cocked at all times so when that puck comes, I'm shooting it."

Pirri scored 11 goals and had 13 assists in 52 games with the Panthers this season. In four games against the Rangers, he scored three goals with two assists.

The Rangers did not skate Wednesday morning, but forward Rick Nash was reunited with linemates Derrick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello at practice Tuesday. Coach Alain Vigneault is hoping to replicate the success they had previously.

"He's had the most success with [Brassard] and [Zuccarello] and we need to get him going, so we're sort of going back to the well," Vigneault told after practice. "Those guys have all played well together. It's not an ideal schedule with all the back to backs for [Nash] to find his rhythm, but that's what we have here, so I figured it's best to put him back with the guys he's had good success with."

Backup goalie Antti Raanta will start with Henrik Lundqvist starting at the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Here are the projected lineups:

Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Jesper Fast
J.T. Miller - Eric Staal - Kevin Hayes
Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Viktor Stalberg

Marc Staal - Dan Boyle
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Keith Yandle - Kevin Klein

Antti Raanta
Henrik Lundqvist

Injured: Dylan McIlrath (knee)
Scratched: Oscar Lindberg

David Perron - Ryan Getzlaf - Brandon Pirri
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
Jamie McGinn - Rickard Rakell - Corey Perry
Nick Ritchie - Shawn Horcoff - Ryan Garbutt

Cam Fowler - Simon Despres
Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson
Clayton Stoner - Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson
Frederik Andersen

Injured: Chris Stewart (jaw), Kevin Bieksa (lower body), Nate Thompson (lower body), Sami Vatanen (upper body)
Scratched: Mike Santorelli

Status report: Bieksa and Vatanen skated on their own prior to the Ducks morning skate. Boudreau said neither will play and each remains day-to-day… Boudreau will continue to rotate the goalies every two games at least until the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "I'm sure decisions are coming down the road, but both have played very well and made it tough for anybody to decipher whether one is better than the other," Boudreau said. … After missing a game with an upper-body injury, Glass skated with the Rangers at practice Tuesday in Anaheim.

Who's hot: Stepan has a point in each of the past five games with seven total in that span and 16 points over the past 16 games. … Yandle has a five-game point streak and a four-game assist streak. … Raanta has allowed two goals or fewer in four of his past five starts. … Nash has 36 points in 37 games against Anaheim. … Kesler has five points over the past five games. … Silfverberg has six points over the past five games. … Rakell has three points over the past three games and six points over the past nine.

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