Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen fills the bill, wants to do more
Two days after being honored as one of the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 10, Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen was back in the minor leagues in Norfolk, Va.
“I expected it could happen,” Andersen said.
Now, following a lower-body muscle inflammation that struck goalie Viktor Fasth before the team’s Nov. 22 game and will sideline him for up to four weeks, Andersen is back in Anaheim and could start Friday’s 1 p.m. game versus the Calgary Flames at Honda Center.
While Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Andersen is the team’s No. 2 goalie “until Viktor gets back,” rookie Andersen, 24, would like to test that theory.
“I never dreamed about having that kind of start,” Andersen said. “You feel like you want more. I want to make an impression, make a case for them to want me here.”
Andersen is 6-1 with a 1.66 goals-against average and .943 save percentage that is better than both Fasth and No. 1 goalie Jonas Hiller. To earn the weekly NHL honor, Andersen went 3-0 with 92 saves, and was 6-0 overall before the Ducks lost to Florida, 3-2, on Nov. 12.
Would more stellar play keep him from being sent back to the minors? “I just want to make it as hard on them as possible,” he said.
He hasn’t played since the Florida game. Upon his return to Norfolk, Andersen missed two scheduled starts because of the flu.
“Once you’ve proven to yourself that you can play here, you kind of want to stay,” Andersen said.
The Ducks will go to San Jose on Saturday having been outscored a combined 12-3 after the second period in their last six road games.
“We definitely need to learn to close out games — championship teams close teams out in the third,” Ducks center Nick Bonino said.
The Ducks also dropped an overtime loss at home to New Jersey on Nov. 20 by giving up two late goals.
“Guys are losing their concentration,” Boudreau said.
“We’ve had internal conversations about why we’re falling apart in the third period,” defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. “We need to be playing our best hockey then. You need a strong start and even better finish. It’s something we need to fix.”
Veteran center Saku Koivu is expected to be cleared to play Friday following a 14-game absence after skating in consecutive practices.
Boudreau called Koivu a “game-time decision” Thursday.
“I’m having no problems,” said Koivu, who suffered a concussion on a Columbus hit Oct. 27.
The Ducks are laboring through a 2-4-2 stretch, and could use the veteran presence. Koivu skated with Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik in Wednesday’s practice.
“It’s very hard to watch the games; you want to be out there,” Koivu said. “You’re always going to go through some stretches when you’re not playing your best. Right now, we’re just looking forward to getting a win, getting back to the way we know we can play.”
Bonino contract extension
The Ducks gave Bonino a three-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season Thursday. Bonino, 25, has seven goals and ranks fourth on the team with 16 points.
When: 1 p.m.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.
Etc.: Boudreau is 3-0 against Calgary with the Ducks, each victory by one goal. The Flames are giving up a league-worst 3.61 goals per game.
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