EDMONTON, Alberta – The Ducks might contemplate some changes for Game 3 as they’re attempting to get back in the best-of-7 Western Conference semifinals against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night at Rogers Place.
Sami Vatanen has yet to return to the defense corps since Game 1 of the first round against Calgary but he took part in the optional morning skate, occasionally winding up and taking slap shots. Vatanen has been dealing with an unspecified upper-body injury.
Korbinian Holzer played in the Game 2 loss to the Oilers, with his holding penalty being cashed in on a second-period goal by Edmonton’s Patrick Maroon. Holzer will draw in again if Vatanen is unable to go as Kevin Bieksa (lower body) is expected to miss a second straight game.
The Ducks recalled wingers Ondrej Kase and Nic Kerdiles from San Diego (AHL) on Saturday and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has either available for usage. Nick Ritchie was a late Game 2 scratch because of flu-like symptoms. Ritchie did skate in the morning but wasn’t sure if would be in the lineup.
“Wasn’t feeling very good,” Ritchie said about sitting out Friday. “Felt that I wasn’t ready to play at that time. … I felt fine this morning. I guess we’ll see when the game comes.”
Kase and Kerdiles were playing with the San Diego Gulls in their Calder Cup playoff series against the Ontario Reign. Kase did make his NHL playoff debut in Game 1 against Calgary when Ritchie had to sit out because of a suspension.
“Kase is a skilled player,” Carlyle said. “He was with us for a better part of the year. He’s kind of like the Energizer bunny out there. He can make plays in small areas. He can score goals.
“He’s an energized young hockey player that’s getting his feet wet in the NHL.”
The Ducks are obviously looking for a different result in Game 3 but they’re planning to go about the game in a similar manner.
“You don’t change the effort,” Carlyle said. “We increase the effort. It’s just we’re looking for results. It’s a results-driven business we’re in. They scored two, we scored one. There’s a good feeling in our group because of the work ethic we’ve provided, the number of chances that we created.
“Now we know we’re going to come into a somewhat hostile environment and that’s what’s going to be expected.”
John Gibson (3-2, 2.76 GAA, .915 save percentage) came off the ice first and appears to be the Game 3 starter in goal. Gibson has allowed six goals on 54 shots in the two games for an .889 save percentage.
Here is the projected lineup for the Ducks:
Rickard Rakell-Ryan Getzlaf-Patrick Eaves
Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg
Ondrej Kase/Nick Ritchie-Antoine Vermette-Corey Perry
Chris Wagner/Nic Kerdiles-Nate Thompson-Logan Shaw
Cam Fowler-Brandon Montour
Hampus Lindholm-Josh Manson
Shea Theodore-Sami Vatanen/Korbinian Holzer
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