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Reunion night in Toronto as Ducks visit Maple Leafs

by Joe Yerdon

TORONTO -- There are plenty of familiar faces facing each other Tuesday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto with the Anaheim Ducks in town to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On the Maple Leafs side, coach Randy Carlyle used to coach the Ducks and forwards Joffrey Lupul and Troy Bodie used to play for Anaheim. Anaheim features former Maple Leafs defenseman Francois Beauchemin as well as a roster filled with players who used to play for Carlyle. Those involved on both sides are downplaying the reunion aspect of the game.

"We need the two points," Lupul said. "They're a team that's obviously playing at a high level right now so we're looking forward to challenging ourselves, to measuring ourselves against this team. We had Chicago the other day, we didn't play as well as we would've liked against Chicago. Now a chance with Anaheim, another one of the top teams in the West right now. It's good for us to measure ourselves to see where we stand."

How the Ducks played under Carlyle and how the Maple Leafs do now looks very familiar. The current Ducks team doesn't play with the kind of physicality they once did.

"Randy likes his tougher teams," Bodie said. "He likes to have a guy like Colton [Orr] in the lineup all the time, whereas Bruce [Boudreau, current Ducks coach] doesn't have a real enforcer over there. Randy likes to have a tough lineup and guys that can fight and step up for everyone."

As for any jitters, it doesn't look like there will be any from behind the bench Tuesday.

"There's always some nervousness that goes with playing or coaching against the team that you were formerly employed by, but the bottom line is … it's white noise," Carlyle said. "We've got a job to do on the ice and that's the most important thing, for our hockey club to play to a higher level than we have as of late. If we don't, we know the hockey club that's coming in is going to force us to do that or we're not going to have success."

Tuesday marks the first time Carlyle is facing his former team while with the Maple Leafs.

"You know they're going to put their best foot forward," Boudreau said. "As far as how we're going to prepare for them, I've watched every one of their games. Being a Toronto boy, that's just what you do sometimes. I think we've got a pretty good grasp on how they play. It's just going out there and executing and doing the right things, and hopefully we do better things than they do."

Compared to his days in Anaheim, Carlyle hasn't appeared to be the same gruff character in Toronto. One of his former players, as well as a teammate in his Winnipeg playing days, thinks he's mellowed out a bit.

"The first three or four years in Anaheim he was pretty hard on the players," Ducks forward Teemu Selanne said. "But you know what? He was fair. With him there was never a misunderstanding. You did what he asked and you did it properly."

As for both teams' lineups, the Maple Leafs will be without Nikolai Kulemin, Frazer McLaren and Mark Fraser because of injuries. Jonathan Bernier was the first goalie off at the morning skate and it appears he'll be the starter.

For Anaheim, Dustin Penner is not with the team after being injured during a game Sunday against the Dallas Stars. Devante Smith-Pelly was recalled from the American Hockey League on Tuesday to take his spot on the roster, but he likely won't play. Patrick Maroon will play on the fourth line.

Ducks forward Matt Beleskey remains out with an injured thumb and goaltender Viktor Fasth is nursing a small injury. Jonas Hiller was the first goalie off at the morning skate and should get the start. Frederik Andersen will back him up.

Here's how the lineups may look Tuesday:


James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Jay McClement - Nazem Kadri - Joffrey Lupul

Mason Raymond - Dave Bolland - Josh Leivo

Troy Bodie - Trevor Smith - Colton Orr

Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson

Morgan Rielly - Cody Franson

Paul Ranger - Jake Gardiner

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Injured: Nikolai Kulemin (ankle), Frazer McLaren (finger), Mark Fraser (knee)

Suspended: David Clarkson


Kyle Palmieri - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Teemu Selanne - Mathieu Perreault - Emerson Etem

Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Daniel Winnik

Patrick Maroon - Nick Bonino - Jakob Silfverberg

Francois Beauchemin - Hampus Lindholm

Ben Lovejoy - Cam Fowler

Sami Vatanen - Bryan Allen

Jonas Hiller

Frederik Andersen

Scratched: Devante Smith-Pelly, Mark Fistric

Injured: Matt Beleskey (upper body), Dustin Penner (head), Luca Sbisa (ankle), Viktor Fasth (lower body)

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