Ducks’ Cam Fowler to sit out two to six weeks because of a shoulder injury; John Gibson is day to day


The Ducks have dealt with injuries much of this season, mostly to key players, before finally enjoying good health since the All-Star break. They’ve fought hard down the stretch in search of a playoff spot, and they can secure one with a victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, coupled with a St. Louis loss to Chicago.

But again they must contend with injuries to pivotal players. In the Ducks’ overtime victory over Colorado on Sunday, defenseman Cam Fowler suffered a shoulder injury and will be sidelined two to six weeks, and goaltender John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury and is day to day.

“They’re both big parts of our hockey club,” Ryan Getzlaf said, “but we’ve dealt with injuries throughout the start of this season and a lot of injuries throughout this year. So the one thing we do have is experience in our young players. We’re going to look to some of them to fill some of those minutes.”


But it’s two 37-year-olds who will take on the lion’s share of responsibility with Fowler and Gibson on the mend.

Ryan Miller was signed over the summer to provide veteran insurance behind the oft-injured Gibson. Playing as a No. 2 goalie for the first time in his career, Miller has an impressive 2.51 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage in 25 games.

The former Vezina Trophy winner has been up to the task whenever he has been called on, whether it’s in relief (seven times) or for a brief stretch of starts. He’ll be counted on to push the Ducks into the postseason, but the way Gibson has played, it would be a big blow if he’s forced to sit out any playoff games.

The 24-year-old goalie could be in line for a Vezina nomination with a .926 save percentage and a 2.43 goals-against-average.

“We’ve got a goaltender that’s played in the Stanley Cup Final and has had an illustrious career so it’s not like we’re putting people into situations they’ve never experienced before,” coach Randy Carlyle said of Miller.

On defense, Francois Beauchemin will see his role increase as he wraps up his career, and he also possesses plenty of big-game experience.

He won a Stanley Cup during his first tour of duty with the Ducks in 2007, and he’s set to retire at season’s end. Like Miller, he was signed in the offseason to provide a steadying presence. Carlyle acknowledged, though, that it would be unfair to expect anyone to simply fill Fowler’s skates. After all, he’s the team’s top defenseman, and his pairing with Brandon Montour has been excellent of late.

“With [Beauchemin], it’s all about him playing a simplified game, playing ruggedly on the back end and be abrasive to play against,” Carlyle said. “Play inside and do his job. For us, he’s trending up, not trending down.”



When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.

Update: For the second consecutive game, the Ducks will face a team without its top defenseman. Ryan Suter suffered a fractured right ankle Saturday and is out for the season. ... The Ducks recalled Reto Berra to back up Miller. Miller figures to start against the Wild, who have split games with the Ducks this season.