Playin' Again Sam

Tuesday, 02.12.2008 / 4:54 PM / Features
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Playin\' Again Sam
Pahlsson missed 21 games and Sunday made his first return to action since Dec. 22.

By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

After his inflamed abdomen kept him out of the Ducks lineup for 21 games, center Samuel Pahlsson returned Sunday against Detroit, albeit in an unfamiliar role.

A defensive stalwart throughout his seven-year career, the 2006-07 Selke Trophy finalist got a chance to flex his scoring chops beside Teemu Selanne and Todd Bertuzzi as the center on the second line in place of the injured Doug Weight against the Red Wings. With Weight’s strained left shoulder landing him on injured reserve on Tuesday, Pahlsson should get the chance to spend more time in an offensive capacity than he’s ever enjoyed.

“Sammy Pahlsson hasn’t played in an offensive role, I don’t think, in his career — in the NHL anyway,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’re going to look to him to step up.”

“I got to try something new,” said Pahlsson, who hadn’t played since Dec. 22. “It’s a different challenge, but I like it. It’s fun to play with those guys.”

Samuel Pahlsson Highlights

Pahlsson had actually moved to his familiar checking line assignment midway through Tuesday night's 2-1 win at Colorado, when he scored the game-winner with 4:21 left in the third period.

His two linemates
— Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer —  helped set up the goal, when Niedermayer sent the puck in front from behind the net. Moen took a shot that was stopped by Colorado goalie Jose Theodore, but Pahlsson snuck into to punch in the rebound. 700K

"I just play where he (Carlyle) puts me, and try to do the best in the situation he puts me in," Pahlsson says. "There’s not more to it than that. I’m a defensive center. I know that, but it’s fun to score goals." - Samuel Pahlsson

"I didn’t see the puck at first," said Pahlsson of his fourth goal of the season. "There were three or four guys in front. I just tried to get in there and hoped to get it on my stick, and that’s what happened."

While he may normally be a stranger to offense, having never eclipsed 11 goals or 26 points in any of his NHL seasons, Pahlsson proved he can provide a scoring touch in last year’s playoffs. En route to the Stanley Cup, Pahlsson flourished with three goals and 12 points in 21 games. He centered a Ducks checking line between Moen and Niedermayer that was outstanding throughout the postseason, combining for 15 goals and 35 points in 21 games.

For the first time, Pahlsson was nominated last year for the Selke Trophy, given to the top defensive forward in the game.

“You look at him as a possible Selke Trophy candidate type as far as the type of player he is," Carlyle said of Pahlsson. “He proved his value to our hockey club last year and well into the playoffs. That line and that grouping outscored every top line that we played against in the playoffs.”

In addition to his defensive prowess, Pahlsson brings vaulable faceoff ability back to the Ducks.

Carlyle elected to put Pahlsson on that second line to leave intact the checking line of Niedermayer Todd Marchant (filling in for a flu-ridden Travis Moen) and Pahlsson’s replacement, rookie Ryan Carter.

“If I would have put him back with Marchant and Niedermayer, it'd be tougher minutes than the minutes I expected for him with Selanne and Bertuzzi,” Carlyle said. “He had the opportunity to get his feet wet a little bit.”

While he may be in a different role for the time being, of most importance to the Ducks and Pahlsson is that the nagging pain in his abdomen appears to be healed. It’s a recurring injury that also kept him out of the first five games of this season.

But after the Detroit game, Pahlsson reported he “felt pretty good. I feel I'm moving better and I finally got that sharp pain that was in my abdomen gone. Better than I thought. It [stinks] being on the sidelines. It's no fun when you don't really know how long it's going to take. This one kept going for a while.”

And he's happy to play in any role that's asked of him. 

"I just play where he (Carlyle) puts me, and try to do the best in the situation he puts me in," Pahlsson says. "There’s not more to it than that. I’m a defensive center. I know that, but it’s fun to score goals."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48


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