Winger Tomas Fleischmann, who played center for the Washington Capitals when current Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau coached that team, is likely to return to the lineup Monday to fill the void created when Chris Wagner was injured during Game 2 of the Ducks’ first-round playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets.
Boudreau wouldn’t definitively say that Fleischmann will take Wagner’s spot on the fourth line, but Fleischmann took some faceoffs during Monday’s morning skate and Boudreau said putting Fleischmann in the middle is a possibility. The Ducks lead the series, 2-0.
Boudreau said center Nate Thompson (upper-body injury) isn’t likely to play but is getting closer to returning and could rejoin the lineup for Game 3, on Wednesday. He also praised Fleischmann’s effort in the Czech forward’s previous time playing center.
“He was good. He played three months for me in the middle in Washington and he anchored the second line, which was [Alexander] Semin and Brooks Laich at the time and he did very well,” Boudreau said. “So that’s an option. We’ve got a couple options there.”
Fleischman was among the Ducks’ late-season trade acquisitions but was a healthy scratch in four games. He did not play in the first two playoff games at Anaheim.
Fleischmann said he played center while growing up before he played center in Washington. Asked if he still has his old faceoff skills, he laughed. “I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll see about that. I don’t know what the lineup’s going to be. We’ll see….
“It’s playoffs. Guys get hurt. It’s a good thing we have a deep team and [I'm] just waiting for an opportunity to get in and make sure I get ready.”
We'll have more coverage soon, including the Ducks' comments on what has gone right and wrong for them so far and both teams' thoughts on the wild atmosphere that will prevail Monday night in the first NHL playoff game in Winnipeg since 1996.