Already dealing with defensive holes, the Ducks announced Tuesday there are more voids to fill.
Beleskey, who has scored 21 goals, was hurt in the first period Sunday when he was knocked into the boards by Washington defenseman John Carlson during a 5-3 Ducks loss at Honda Center. Vatanen, who has 12 goals and 34 points, twisted his leg in the first period.
“We’ll find ways, hopefully, to offset both of their losses,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The sense of urgency is now.”
To fill the absences, the Ducks summoned forward Emerson Etem and defenseman Josh Manson from minor league Norfolk, Va.
“We’re going to lean on our depth again as we’ve done all year,” center Ryan Getzlaf said, referring to the more than 200 games missed by teammates. ”There’s guys in this room that can do those things.”
No one has lately, the Ducks giving up four or more goals in six of their last nine games.
“The first thing you’ve got to do is rely on your defense to not give up four goals a night,” Getzlaf said. “You can’t do that and win hockey games.”
Awaiting them Wednesday night is the Tampa Bay Lightning, which blitzed visiting Anaheim, 5-3, on Feb. 8.
Clayton Stoner, Vatanen’s defensive partner, said: “We need to play more of a team game, where everybody contributes, so missing a guy or two … if we lift our game as a group, we’ll be playing better than we were anyways.”
Added Ryan Kesler: “We need people in this room to figure out this is crunch time.”
Back and forth
“Maybe he’s just jealous. I have hair; he don’t have hair,” Ovechkin said.
“He made a hair joke, that’s unbelievable,” Getzlaf said. “The media’s not the place to hash it out. Everyone in here knows I don’t have hair, so pretty obvious comment.”
Ducks starting goaltender Frederik Andersen is eligible to play Wednesday, but said he won’t.
Andersen said that though he’s mostly pain free — after a goal tipped over and struck the back of his neck during the Feb. 8 game against Tampa Bay — he wants to take serious shots in practice before deciding whether he’ll accompany the team on its Friday-Saturday trip to Calgary and Edmonton.
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