Ducks to rest Koivu, maybe others vs. Canucks
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Ducks played no exhibition games because there were none after the NHL lockout ended. But their lineup for Thursday's contest against Vancouver could approximate one for the preseason.
Since the Ducks are locked in for the second seed when the Western Conference playoffs begin next week, Coach Bruce Boudreau is going to rest center Saku Koivu and could sit winger Teemu Selanne for a second time in the past four games.
There is also a chance captain Ryan Getzlaf also sits, as well as top defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Both have played in every game this season.
Boudreau has had to weigh giving his most experienced players a break before the postseason and getting his team in playoff mode. Two wins in Edmonton on Sunday and Monday helped in the decision process.
"You can look at it both ways," Boudreau said after practice Wednesday at Rogers Arena. "It is a fine line. I think some guys do need a rest. Saku's played in every game. He's not going to play tomorrow. I don't think Teemu's going to play tomorrow.
"But I don't think those two guys, quite frankly, are going to lose anything."
The Ducks will also be without winger Bobby Ryan and defenseman Luca Sbisa.
Ryan was a late scratch Monday against the Oilers because of stomach flu and was sent home to Orange County as symptoms lingered.
Sbisa, who has missed four straight games, hasn't been able to shake a nagging lower-body injury that is affecting his skating. He left the ice Wednesday well before practice ended.
"First of all, we didn't want anybody else catching anything," Boudreau said of Ryan. "And we wanted to make sure that he gets better. He just had a stomach virus.
"He's getting better, which is a really good sign. I'm sure he's going to be with us Friday. Hopefully play Saturday (against Phoenix)."
About Sbisa, Boudreau said: "He's not there yet."
It means that wingers Patrick Maroon and Devante Smith-Pelly, who were recalled from Norfolk (AHL), could find their way in the lineup against the Canucks. Young defenseman Sami Vatanen could play in his fifth consecutive game.
Sheldon Souray is expected to return against the Canucks after sitting out the two games in Edmonton to nurse a lower-body injury. Jonas Hiller is supposed to start in goal while the Ducks will face Roberto Luongo in what might be his final start in Vancouver.
Luongo, the subject of intense trade speculation this season, is starting as Cory Schneider is dealing with an undisclosed injury suffered in his last start against Chicago. Schneider has been the Canucks' lead goalie and is expected to be their playoff starter.
Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano was selected as the team's candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Anaheim chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded by the NHL each season to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Cogliano, 25, has played in 456 consecutive games since entering the NHL in 2007 and is having his best season with 12 goals, 10 assists and a plus-14 rating in 46 games. The speedy forward also has just four penalty minutes.
"I can honestly say that he's had one bad game this year," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Everything else has been effort, effort, effort. Never quitting and doing all the right things."
Said Cogliano: "For me, I'm just a guy that wants to be in the lineup. Play and contribute and be a guy that is someone that's counted on. I think this is a year where I took a step forward in that department."
The trophy is named for Bill Masterton, a former Minnesota North Stars player who died in 1968 as a result of a head injury suffered during a game against the Oakland Seals.
ANDERSEN CALLED UP
The Ducks called up goalie Frederik Andersen from Norfolk and returned netminder Igor Bobkov.
Andersen, 23, had a successful first pro season in North America after starring for Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League. The third-round pick of the Ducks in 2012 went 24-18-1 for Norfolk with a 2.19 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and four shutouts.
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