Anaheim Ducks Line Rushes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: 10/24/2014


The Anaheim Ducks return to action Friday night with the fourth game of their five game homestand. The team is currently on a six game winning streak and has won its three home contests by a combined score of 9-2. On Wednesday, Anaheim defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 behind another hat trick from star winger Corey Perry and wonderful goaltending from Frederik Andersen. Now, the Ducks have another test in the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team known for playing hard and physical.

No real changes appear to be in order for the forward lines. As stated above, Perry is coming off a game in which he scored a hat trick, his second of the season. The three goals pushed his season total to eight, tying him with New York Rangers forward Rick Nash for the NHL lead. Ryan Getzlaf, with his second consecutive multi-assist game, has eight helpers on the season, tying him with New York Islanders forward John Tavares, Calgary Flames forward Joe Colborne, and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Scott Hartnell for the league lead as well. Emerson Etem is still searching for his first point this season, while Rickard Rakell, Jakob Silfverberg, and Nate Thompson are all still without goals through the first seven contests. Dany Heatley skated again, but is still not ready to play.

From Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, here are the expected lineups for tonight.

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Devante Smith-Pelly – Getzlaf – Perry
Andrew CoglianoRyan Kesler – Silfverberg
Matt BeleskeyWilliam Karlsson – Rakell
Etem – Thompson – Tim Jackman

On the Ducks defense, Clayton Stoner will draw back in the lineup after being scratched against Buffalo on Wednesday. Mark Fistric, who replaced Stoner and made his season debut against the Sabres, will come out of the lineup. Cam Fowler is coming off a game where he led the team in total ice time, with 23:07. Part of this came from the Ducks moving Fowler up to the first power-play unit with the absence of Patrick Maroon, moving Getzlaf down from the point. With two more blocked shots against Buffalo, Sami Vatanen has 19 for the season, which leads the team.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Hampus LindholmFrancois Beauchemin
Stoner – Vatanen

For the Blue Jackets, the team stormed back to defeat the Sharks 5-4 at the SAP Center last night. Columbus will be playing their third game of their four game road trip, including the middle contest of the California road trip. Hartnell, who has eight assists, had four primary assists last night, a career high. Mark Letestu scored his first two goals of the season in last night’s victory, including a shorthanded goal to tie the game at 2-2 and the game winner. Ryan Johansen, who made waves this offseason with his holdout, has five goals this season after scoring a pair last night against San Jose. He is tied for the team lead in points, with nine, and Johansen is building off a fantastic 2013-2014 campaign, where he scored 33 goals and 63 points. This is a team that is currently missing Boone Jenner (broken hand), Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal), and Nathan Horton (back). The back injury for Horton is feared to be career-threatening.

Columbus Blue Jackets Forward Lines:

Hartnell – Johansen – Nick Foligno
Matt CalvertAlexander WennbergCam Atkinson
Letestu – Artem AnisimovJack Skille
Adam CracknellMichael ChaputJared Boll

For the Blue Jackets’ blue-line, the team has been without Ryan Murray, the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, because of a knee injury. In his place, David Savard has stepped in on the top pairing, averaging 23:32 in ice time, including four games where he played at least 24:30. Jack Johnson has been a horse for Columbus, as usual, playing over 22 minutes in each of the team’s first six games.

Columbus Blue Jackets Defense Pairings:

Johnson – Savard
Fedor TyutinJames Wisniewski
Tim ErixonDalton Prout

In net, John Gibson (0-1-0, 6.00 GAA, .846 SV%) was the first off the ice, so it is expected that he will go for the first time since the season opener in Pittsburgh. Opposing him may be Sergei Bobrovsky (4-2-0, 2.37 GAA, .923 SV%), who won the Vezina Trophy in the 2012-2013 season and got the win last night against San Jose. However, the Blue Jackets are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back tonight, and they still have a game against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. There is a chance that coach Todd Richards may want to give Bobrovsky a breather tonight and give the start to Anton Forsberg (0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .000 SV%), who would be making his NHL debut. Backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney suffered an injury to the head or neck area against the Ottawa Senators, and is currently on Injured Reserve.

Jason Byun is one of the editors for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.