McElhinney offers some relief.

Curtis McElhinney was in a Calgary Flames uniform for 50 games this season before he made even two relief appearances off the bench for head coach Brent Sutter. Seven games into his Ducks career, McElhinney has already replaced Jonas Hiller twice in the middle of a game.

That’s just one of the adjustments the 26-year-old goaltender has had to make in Anaheim.
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Ducks 5, New York Islanders 4.

Saku Koivu’s overtime goal completed a comeback from a 4-2 deficit against the Islanders.

Koivu stole the puck in the neutral zone, beat a pair of defensemen and finished the rush with a goal on Martin Biron — his second game-winning goal in as many games.

The victory was the Ducks’ third straight. Lubomir Visnovsky scored two more goals, including the game-tying goal with 32 seconds left in regulation and the Ducks skating 6-on-5.

“Luckily enough, our
power play delivered a big goal for us and we got another one late with
the
goaltender out,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “Then 13 seconds into overtime, Saku scores a big-time
goal. Now
we are feeling pretty good about ourselves. For the first 40-plus
minutes
of the game, we weren’t feeling that good about what was going on out
there.”
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Murray on Wisniewski: ‘He should get suspended.’

Here are Ducks general manager Bob Murray’s thoughts on Wisniewski’s eight-game suspension:

 

First of all, we love the way Wiz plays and we want
him to
play the game hard. That is how he has to play and he is very effective
doing
that. In this instance, he crossed the line. He went too far and he was
going
to get suspended. I applaud the league cracking down on these things. He
should
get suspended. I hope they continue to work on this. What happened at
the last
GM meetings and the direction we’re going is wonderful.

 

The problem I have is the length of it. It just
seems that
Wiz at this point because of the climate of the league is an easy
target. I
sure as heck hope that if we’re going to crack down, that it is a crack
down
across the board no matter if you’re a star player or not and that
everybody
gets whacked. It can’t just be on certain people at the right time.
Nothing
makes you cringe more than when you see some of the hits this year. All I
say
is, if you’re going to get them, let’s get them all.

 

He crossed the line and has to get whacked. I
support Colin
(Campbell). Colin’s job is a tough job to do. It is not easy. Let’s get
them
all if we’re going to do it and make it equal across the board, whether
it is a
fourth-line player or first-line player, whether the player plays on the
East
Coast or the West Coast. Don’t forget, what was the last suspension of
eight
games or more? Chris Pronger when he was in Anaheim. Let’s just make
sure it is
even.

 

On the impact of losing Wisniewski

He’s a 20-some minute guy. Obviously, it’s an awful
blow to
the hockey team.

 

The game has evolved and we play it different now.
We have
to get rid of this stuff. I’m all for it. I want this stuff gone. I
cringe. My
boys played the game. It’s an awful. I can’t imagine being a parent
watching
that. We have to clean it up, but let’s be consistent.

Wisniewski suspended eight games.

The NHL has suspended Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski eight games for this hit Wednesday night on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.

The court of public opinion came down on both sides almost as soon as the hit was levied. In the end, the only opinion that mattered was the one issued by Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations:

“Mr. Wisniewski delivered a retaliatory hit to the head of an opponent who never had possession of the puck. The fact that Mr. Wisniewski is a repeat offender also entered into this decision.”

The Ducks will be without Wisniewski, their third defenseman in terms of minutes played, until the final five games of the regular season beginning April 3 against the Kings. Accordingly, he forfeits $268,292.72 in salary, based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (193). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Through a team spokesperson, Wisniewski issued this statement in response:

“I am truly sorry that my friend Brent Seabrook was hurt on the play. I certainly wish him the best. I am, however, very disappointed in the length of the suspension. Eight games is incredibly hard to swallow, especially in comparison to other recent hits that have resulted in lesser punishment.”

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Report: NHL reviewing Wisniewski hit.

James Wisniewski awoke this morning a household name (again) in Chicago.

In case you missed his hit on Brent Seabrook in the second period of the Ducks’ 4-2 win over the Blackhawks last night, here is why the city of Chicago is calling for the former Blackhawk’s head on a platter.

According to a report on ESPN.com, the NHL is looking into the hit.
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Ducks 4, Chicago 2.

It may end up being a case of “too little, too late” for the Ducks, but beating the two best teams in the Western Conference in back-to-back games at least serves as a reminder of their potential.

Three days after beating the conference-leading San Jose Sharks, they handed the second-place Chicago Blackhawks a 4-2 loss minus their best player, Ryan Getzlaf, who missed the game with inflammation in his left ankle.

Ryan Carter filled Getzlaf’s spot and won a faceoff that led directly to the game’s first goal, by Bobby Ryan at 4:08 of the first period.

Todd Marchant and Saku Koivu also scored, and Ryan added an empty netter in the final minute – his 30th and 31st goals of the season coming on his 23rd birthday. Jonas Hiller withstood a 41-shot barrage for the victory. Corey Perry added two assists.

With 13 games remaining, the Ducks trail the Detroit Red Wings by eight points for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Ducks eyeing AHL team in Syracuse?

From the Syracuse Post-Standard:

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the Blue Jackets are close to finalizing a deal to
move their affiliate from Syracuse to Springfield next season.

That would put the Crunch in line to pick up a new farm team, and the
most frequent names I’m hearing are the Rangers and Anaheim, with
perhaps Tampa Bay also in the mix.

Anaheim does not have an affiliate this season. I talked to Ducks
assistant GM Dave McNab on Wednesday afternoon, and he said no decision
has yet been made for next season.

I asked him if he had been talking to Crunch owner Howard Dolgon
about a deal.

“You talk to lots of people,” he said. “We’re still trying to figure
out what we’re going to do.The American League is a funny league.
There’s things that bounce around quite a bit. We’ll look at that, if
it’s a possibility. We’ve got to get something.”

Blackhawks are banged up.

It’s not just the hit that Alex Ovechkin laid on Brian Campbell Sunday that has the Chicago Blackhawks limping into Wednesday’s game with the Ducks.

Campbell, in case you missed it, broke his clavicle and rib as a result of Ovechkin’s hit, which resulted in a game misconduct and two-game suspension for the Caps’ captain. The Blackhawks defenseman is expected to miss 7-8 weeks, which projects to a return during the Stanley Cup Finals at the earliest, should Chicago make it that far.

The Blackhawks recalled defenseman Nick Boynton – whom the Ducks traded to Chicago for future considerations on March 2 – from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs to take Campbell’s roster spot.

Chicago forward Marian Hossa returned to practice today after missing Sunday’s game against Washington with an “upper-body injury.” His status for tomorrow is unknown.

Hawks goalie Cristobal Huet is battling the flu and will be benched in favor of Antti Niemi against the Ducks. Corey Crawford was recalled from Rockford Tuesday to serve as the emergency backup.

The Ducks could be without forward Ryan Getzlaf (ankle) and Teemu Selanne (shoulder). Both are listed as questionable after sustaining the injuries Sunday, and will be game-day decisions.

Selanne, Getzlaf ‘questionable’ for Wednesday.

The good news for the Ducks is that the injuries to Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne aren’t as serious as they could have been, considering neither was able to finish Sunday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

The bad news is, with the team’s playoff hopes leaving them in the position of having to win nearly every game remaining, both forwards are questionable for Wednesday’s game against Chicago.

An MRI exam Monday revealed a slight sprain in Selanne’s left shoulder. He will be evaluated again tomorrow morning and is currently listed as day-to-day. Getzlaf also had an MRI on his sprained left ankle, which revaled inflammation in the area but no further damage. He is also day-to-day.

Meanwhile enforcer George Parros, who was struck by a puck in Sunday’s morning skate, sustained a “contusion/laceration” on the side of his head and is likely to practice tomorrow and be available Wednesday.

The Ducks have recalled forward Kyle Calder from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Calder collected no goals and two assists in 14 games with Anaheim earlier this season. With the Marlies, he had 11 goals and 24 points in 31 games.