THRASHERS (1-2-0) at DUCKS (1-3-0)
TV -- PRIME TICKET (HD)
Season series -- This is the only meeting this season between the teams. In their last meeting, the Thrashers earned a hard-fought 2-1 home victory on Jan. 26, 2010, despite being outshot 35-34.
Big story -- After starting the season 0-3-0 and allowing an NHL-leading 48.3 shots per game in the three road losses, the Ducks did something positive on Wednesday en route to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in their home opener. The Ducks helped their own cause by taking just 11 minutes in penalties after racking up a League-leading 145 PIMs through three games. Perhaps most encouraging was the fact Anaheim's top line of Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry combined for 7 points with Getzlaf leading the charge with a goal and 3 assists. The trio was held without a single point in the opening three games.
Thrashers -- This is the second of a three-game West Coast swing for Atlanta. The club dropped a 3-1 decision in Los Angeles on Tuesday and visit San Jose on Saturday before returning home for games against Buffalo and Tampa Bay. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec was diagnosed with a neurocardiogenic syncope episode (a type of fainting spell) that caused him to fall and hit his head on the ice in the opening minutes of the season opener against Washington. Chris Mason now gets the bulk of the workload between the pipes for the Thrashers while Pavelec is on injured reserve. The team recalled Peter Mannino from Atlanta's AHL affiliate in Chicago prior to Tuesday's game against the Kings.
Ducks -- Anaheim's newest acquisition, defenseman Andreas Lilja, who was inked to a one-year contract on Sunday, has yet to receive immigration clearance. Coach Randy Carlyle offered a glimmer of hope that he would be available this weekend. The Ducks need him too, after Andy Sutton joined Toni Lydman on the injured list. Lilja spent the last five of his eight NHL seasons with the Red Wings as a prolific shot blocker and penalty killer. The shortage on defense has actually opened the door for rookie Cam Fowler, who logged a team-high 25:22 of ice time in a loss at St. Louis on Monday. The 12th overall choice in the 2010 Draft is second on the team in ice time (22:25) and has registered two assists and four shots on goal in four games.
Who's hot -- Ducks' captain Ryan Getzlaf recorded his fifth career game with 4-plus points on Wednesday (1 goal, 3 assists). His last 4-plus point effort took place on Feb. 14, 2010 at Edmonton (2-2-4). His career-high is five points, set on Oct. 29, 2008 vs. Detroit (0-5-5).
Injury report -- The Ducks are without Sutton (broken thumb) and forward Joffrey Lupul (blood infection). Defenseman Toni Lydman has been cleared to play; he hasn't played in the preseason or regular season due to double visit. Atlanta is without Pavelec (concussion) as well as forwards Jim Slater (wrist) and Patrice Cormier (broken foot).
Stat pack -- Teemu Selanne's first goal of the season on Wednesday for the Ducks was also the 607th of his career, moving him within one of a share of 16th on the all-time list with Dino Ciccarelli (608). … The Thrashers are 0-for-13 in 5-on-4 situations and 1-for-14 on the power play overall. Their lone goal with the man advantage came on a 5-on-3 situation in their victory over Washington on opening night.
Puck drop -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle wasn't concerned that Wednesday night's win wasn't aesthetically attractive.
"It wasn't pretty," Carlyle said. "I don't think we're going to frame that one and say that is the way we want to play every night. But at least it's a starting point for us. It's been difficult for us over the first three games that we started on the road. We got our game going as this game went on. Our players are to be credited because they were frustrated."
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