SENATORS (24-23-10) at DUCKS (38-16-7)
TV: RDS, TSN5, FS-W
Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has been tweaking his lineup to try to generate more offense. It began three games ago by splitting up forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
Now, Boudreau has a new weapon to work with in rookie forward Jiri Sekac.
The Ducks acquired Sekac on Tuesday from the Montreal Canadiens for forward Devante Smith-Pelly. Sekac was present at morning skate Wednesday, taking line rushes with Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler, but his status for the game against the Ottawa Senators is up in the air with Sekac awaiting a visa.
"We know he has skill, he can skate, and he's got a good shot," Boudreau told the Ducks website. "We move people around in our top-nine [forwards] until we find the right spot for them. I assume that'll be the same case here."
The moves Boudreau made prior to acquiring Sekac have paid off. The Ducks are 3-0-0 since splitting up Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Late Monday en route to a 4-3 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings, Boudreau reunited Perry and Getzlaf, resulting in a goal that gave Anaheim a 3-2 lead in the third period.
With Senators goalies Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner injured, rookie Andrew Hammond has stepped in and won each of his starts, including his NHL debut Feb. 18. Coach Dave Cameron said he will be going with the same lineup Wednesday they used in a win last Saturday against the Panthers, according to the Senators.
The Senators start a five-game road trip on Wednesday that begins with a Western swing. They'll play the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday before taking on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Cameron, though, said his team isn't at a point where it can adjust its play based on its opponent.
"We're not an elite team yet, so we have to prepare for every game like it's going to be a 60-minute battle," said Cameron in a video posted on the Senators website. "I don't care if it's in California, I don't care if it's in Buffalo, I don't care if it's in Florida; we have to prepare the same way, and thus, try to play the same way.
"That's going to be the biggest factor in determining our success."
Here are the projected lineups:
Milan Michalek - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan
Matt Puempel - David Legwand - Alex Chiasson
Erik Condra- Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Curtis Lazar
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Eric Gryba - Cody Ceci
Patrick Wiercioch - Mark Borowiecki
Suspended: Jared Cowen
Scratched: Colin Greening
Injured: Craig Anderson (hand), Robin Lehner (concussion), Clarke McArthur (concussion), Chris Phillips (back), Zack Smith (wrist), Chris Neil (thumb)
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Kyle Palmieri
Emerson Etem - Ryan Kesler - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg
Rene Bourque - William Karlsson - Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner - Josh Manson
Scratched: Eric Brewer, Jiri Sekac
Injured: Frederik Andersen (neck), Matt Beleskey (shoulder), Sami Vatanen (leg), Nate Thompson (lower body)
Status report: Thompson sustained a lower-body injury Monday against Detroit. Karlsson took his spot on the fourth line at morning skate, according to the Ducks. Andersen also skated and Boudreau said a return date has not yet been discussed. Boudreau also said he hopes Beleskey begins skating with the team by the end of the week. … Anderson, who has been out since Jan. 21 with a hand injury, is with Ottawa for its five-game road trip and could play on Thursday against the Kings, according to the Ottawa Sun.
Who's hot: Getzlaf has two goals and two assists in his past three games. … Ryan has a goal and five assists over his past six games, and since getting traded from the Ducks to the Senators, has three points in three games against his former team.