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Visnovsky likely to return for Ducks

by Curtis Zupke /
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Lubomir Visnovsky is expected to return to the lineup for the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Visnovsky will be a game-time decision, but Visnovsky has pronounced himself fit to play.

"I told (Boudreau) I'm ready," Visnovsky said after the morning skate.

Visnovsky suffered a broken finger when he blocked a shot in the final seconds to help seal a win against Vancouver on Nov. 11.

Visnovsky, who led all NHL defensemen in scoring last season, had a poor start before injury, but the Ducks miss his offensive skills, particularly on the power play.

Defense partner Cam Fowler has admitted to struggling while trying to make up for Visnovsky's role as the team's primary puck-mover and minutes-eater.

Visnovsky averages 23:36 of ice time per game, and Boudreau doesn't believe in easing him back in to the lineup.

"If he's ready to play, I anticipate him to be as a good as he can," Boudreau said. "I don't believe in guys giving an excuse already-made that 'I haven't played in a while and it's going to take time.' If you're ready to play in the National Hockey League, you better be ready to play."
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