The injuries are stacking up for the Anaheim Ducks, just as the team has managed to put together wins in consecutive games for the first time this season. They face a feisty Columbus Blue Jackets side that has taken its two previous games on their road trip against the other California teams.
Ducks: Wednesday, 11/4 vs Florida. "Perry Breaks Scoreless Spell In Dying Moments, Ducks Nip Cats 3-2 In Shootout"
Blue Jackets: Thursday, 11/5 at Los Angeles. "No Love Lost In LA"
Corey Perry found the back of the net for the first time of the season, scoring with six seconds remaining to force overtime in the Ducks eventual shootout win over the Panthers. It moved him in to a four-way tie for team lead in points, and leaves four forwards who have appeared in over half of the team's games without a goal; Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg, Patrick Maroon, and Ryan Getzlaf.
Getzlaf remains 'questionable' following surgery to remove his appendix last week, but coach Bruce Boudreau has been pleased with his progress.
Getzlaf is expected to be back in the lineup tonight, as is defenseman Josh Manson, with each coming off injured reserve. Perhaps the more pressing concern is the health of Rickard Rakell, who left the Florida game during the first period after taking a high hit from Alex Petrovic. Rakell is tied for the team lead with four points on two goals and two assists, and there was no update available on his upper body injury; he's being considered day to day. Jiri Sekac and Simon Despres also remain on the injured list.
This is the second of three games in four nights for the Ducks, and the front end of a back-to-back that will see them travel to San Jose tomorrow night. Anaheim picked up a point in their previous front end of a two-in-two this season, losing 1-0 in overtime at Chicago on October 26. It's the first time this season where Honda Center is the site for the initial leg of a back-to-back. Anaheim faces two additional two-in-twos this month; they open a four game road trip against Carolina on November 16 then face Nashville the next night, and host Calgary on November 24 before traveling to Arizona the following day.
Columbus is coming off a testy win at STAPLES Center last night that saw the team get held without a shot on goal in the second period, the 11th time in franchise history that's happened for the Jackets. However they responded by out-shooting the host Angelenos 17-10 in the final frame and getting an important insurance goal from Gregory Campbell that proved the game winner. The teams combined for 50 minutes in penalties, as the game featured two separate fights and multiple skirmishes over the course of it.
Since John Tortorella took over at head coach for the Jackets on October 21 the team has gone 4-3-0, with all four wins coming on the road. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has started to get his game together, posting a .918 save percentage and getting the start in each game. Bobrovsky got the hook starting the second half of a back-to-back on October 31, so Anaheim may see former Duck Curtis McElhinney between the pipes. Brandon Dubinsky has come alive under his former boss with the Rangers, putting up three goals and four assists, while Scott Hartnell has three goals and three assists, defenseman Ryan Murray has two goals and four assists, and Boone Jenner has four goals and an assist over Tortorella's seven games.
Two hours before face off we'll have the game thread up, featuring the full Stat Pack, likely with expected lines, and of course your Numbers For Nerds.