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Ducks' Jiri Sekac to play tonight if immigration paperwork is finalized

Sekac looks forward to playing with Ducks after his skills were under-utilized with defensive-minded Canadiens

Jiri Sekac, the Ducks’ newly acquired forward, was waiting for immigration paperwork to be completed Wednesday before he can be cleared to play in Anaheim’s home game Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said he planned to play Sekac, a Czech citizen, if the work visa documentation gets finalized.

Sekac, 22, said upon his first visit to California that he was looking forward to playing for the Ducks, considering he’s an offensive player whose skill was underutilized with the defensive-minded Montreal Canadiens.

“I was signed by the Canadiens because I was an offensive guy … being used as a defensive player wasn’t working out for me,” Sekac said.

He has even switched numbers, from No. 26 to No. 46, with the Ducks because “there was not good memories for me” in Montreal.

The Ducks sent rugged forward Devante Smith-Pelly, also 22, to Montreal on Tuesday in exchange for Sekac.

There’s even a possibility that the left-handed-shooting Sekac will be elevated to the first line, playing with center Ryan Getzlaf and right wing Corey Perry.

“After all I’ve been through in the NHL, that’d be very nice — unreal to play with guys like that,” Sekac said.

Game notes: Goalie John Gibson left the ice first Wednesday, indicating he’ll make his seventh consecutive start.

Ottawa defeated the Ducks, 6-2, in their last meeting Dec. 19. Boudreau said there was no excuse for that defeat, even if it did come at the end of a long Canadian trip, days before the Christmas break.

It’s likely center William Karlsson will play fourth-line center in place of Nate Thompson, who was injured Monday against Detroit.

Boudreau said he’d like Karlsson to inject more offensive vitality to the fourth line. Thompson, Tim Jackman and Patrick Maroon have a combined 15 goals this season.  

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