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Thursday, May 8, 2014
Expect Ducks to dip into depth for Game 3

By Pierre LeBrun

LOS ANGELES -- The Anaheim Ducks have depth and are likely going to dip into it for Game 3 on Thursday night.

Down 2-0 in the series, why not?

While head coach Bruce Boudreau would not confirm those lineup changes, the betting money is on defenseman Sami Vatanen and winger Kyle Palmieri both being inserted into the lineup as the Ducks look for a bit more offense.

Vatanen, who played for Finland at the Olympics in February, was recalled from AHL Norfolk on Wednesday. My guess is he takes the spot of Mark Fistric in the lineup.

"Puck-moving, he got six goals for us this year, he’s always been an offensive defenseman," Boudreau said Thursday morning about Vatanen, who had 21 points (6-15) in 48 games with the Ducks this season.

Young winger Emerson Etem was sent down to Norfolk, opening up a lineup spot for, most likely, Palmieri, 23, who had 14 goals and 17 assists in 71 games this season for the Ducks.

"He's a great scorer, he led the American League in scoring when he was 19," Boudreau said. "He’s got a great shot. His shot is as good as anybody's. He can skate and he's got a bit of physicality. That's what he brings."

Projected (not confirmed) Ducks lineup:
Matt Beleskey-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano-Saku Koivu-Jakob Silfverberg
Devante Smith-Pelly-Nick Bonino-Kyle Palmieri
Patrick Maroon-Mathieu Perreault-Teemu Selanne

Defense pairs
Cam Fowler-Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm-Francois Beauchemin
Bryan Allen-Sami Vatanen

Jonas Hiller

Nothing new on the Kings' side, both veteran blueliners Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr remain out. Which means you can likely expect the same Kings lineup for Game 3:

Marian Gaborik-Anze Kopitar-Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King-Jarret Stoll-Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford-Mike Richards-Trevor Lewis

Defense pairs
Jake Muzzin-Drew Doughty
Jeff Schultz-Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez-Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Where the Kings hope to improve, despite a 2-0 series lead, is they feel they didn't generate enough offense, especially after being held to 17 shots in Game 2.

"We didn't play good enough in Game 2," Kings star blueliner Drew Doughty said Thursday morning after the skate. "We played well enough to win, a good playoff-style game I guess, but it’s still not what we want to be doing. We want to be the team outshooting the other team and obviously not be giving them as many opportunities. If we can put more pucks on the net that would be great, too. The bigger the cushion, the better chance we have to win. We're going to be looking to get more shots and more goals tonight."