Mighty Duck winger Warren Rychel returned to the lineup Thursday just in time to leave it again. He is expected to face a one-game NHL suspension after receiving his third game misconduct penalty of the season in a third-period melee with the Kings, his former team.
Rychel had missed the previous four games because of a sore back, and has missed eight games in all because of the injury.
Rychel served a one-game suspension Nov. 11 for slashing the Kings’ John Slaney after accumulating two stick-related game misconducts within 41 games. His next stick-related game misconduct will result in a two-game suspension.
But under another rule, any three-game misconducts during a season result in a one-game suspension.
The Ducks, badly in need of scoring depth, could pick up a former 20-goal scorer off waivers if no one claims Edmonton’s David Oliver before their turn.
Eight teams get a chance first, including the Kings. (The selection order is the reverse order of the standings.) Oliver, 25, scored 20 goals in 80 games last season and had 16 in 44 games during his lockout-shortened rookie season.
The Ducks have shown interest in him before, and General Manager Jack Ferreira smiled Thursday when asked if he would make a claim. “You never know,” he said.
Rookie center Sean Pronger didn’t play Thursday because of an abdominal strain.