Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said after his team’s Friday morning skate that the timing was right for Andersen to start again following his 32-save Monday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.
It will be Andersen’s first home start after he replaced Jonas Hiller to start the second period Oct. 20 against Dallas, stopping all 24 shots he faced in a 6-3 comeback victory.
Andersen proceeded to win three starts on the Ducks’ 5-2-1 road trip. The Ducks (13-3-1) are 6-0 at home and on a 6-0-1 run in their last seven games, leading the NHL with 27 points.
Hiller, Boudreau said, will probably start Sunday against Pacific Division rival Vancouver.
“He’s 4-0 … it seemed like a good spot by a goalie who’s undeterred,” Boudreau said of Andersen. “There’s no letdown in his mind because he’s still trying to impress to be here.”
Andersen, 24, was summoned from minor-league Norfolk following an Oct. 17 lower-body injury to goalie Viktor Fasth, who did some drills on the ice Friday and is expected to go through a full team practice Saturday.
Andersen, with a 1.36 goals-against average and .952 save percentage, said he’s “feeling great.”
“There’s not much that I want to do different,” he said. “I want to keep working hard, improving my game, do what I can to stick around. It’s awesome playing on a great team like this. They support you. Everyone has great confidence right now, they’re happy about coming to the rink. The mood is a lot of fun.”
Despite their league-low seven points and task of playing back-to-back after a 2-0 loss to the Kings on Thursday, the Sabres will have U.S. Olympic team goalie Ryan Miller in the opposing net.
“It’s not our focus at all where they are in the standings,” Andersen said. “In this league, everyone can beat everyone. Yesterday, they had a close game. We want to keep doing what we’ve been doing lately. That’s been successful so far.”
Injury report: Boudreau said of forward Matt Beleskey (broken thumb), “I’m pretty sure he’ll play on the road trip,” which starts Tuesday at the Florida Panthers. Center Saku Koivu (concussion) is “just doing all the protocol he’s supposed to do,” Boudreau said without offering a timetable for his return.
[Updated at 1:18 p.m.: Ducks defenseman Sami Kapanen (upper body injury) said after Friday morning's skate that he is able to play Friday night after missing two games.]