Between the conclusion of the Ducks’ eight-game homestand that bore little fruit with just one win and their also season-long swing of six away matches that will continue against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, there was no shortage of big developments.
First, they traded an integral component of their defense for a prospect who they believe will be a foundational forward. They swapped Jamie Drysdale and a second-rounder with Philadelphia for Cutter Gauthier, then they recalled experienced defenseman Robert Hagg from San Diego on Monday as well.
Then, in Tuesday’s 5-3 victory over the Predators in Nashville, they lost star forward Trevor Zegras to a significant lower-body injury (along with another key player, perhaps) and the following morning they made a waiver claim to add former Montreal defenseman Gustav Lindström, who had NHL experience with the Detroit Red Wings and, most recently, the Montreal Canadiens.
That list might leave readers out of breath, and the Ducks were holding theirs when Zegras went down in the first period. They mounted a 5-0 lead and fended off Nashville in garbage time, though they also saw rookie standout Pavel Mintyukov get banged up in the final frame. Neither player practiced on Wednesday.
“It was kind of a bad omen when ‘Z’ got hurt, but we fought through it,” said Ducks coach Greg Cronin, who added that Zegras would be “out for a while.”
According to a confirmed report from Sweden, rookie Leo Carlsson could make his return as soon as Saturday’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning. His presence could alleviate some of the offensive burden created by Drysdale’s departure and the absence of his best pal Zegras, as well as Mintyukov potentially.
Three Ducks recorded multipoint efforts Tuesday: Jackson LaCombe on his 23rd birthday, veteran Alex Killorn and Troy Terry, who has heated up to score 11 points in his past 11 games.
Adam Henrique’s assist on Terry’s second-period goal was his 500th career point.
“I’ve certainly come a long way and played with a lot of great teammates over my career so far. I certainly couldn’t have done it without those guys, and family and friends have been big, too,” Henrique said.
Henrique, 33, is in the final year of his contract and could be an attractive trade target near the deadline on a roster that has not been complete all season due to injuries and already lost one of its best defensemen in exchange for a prospect.
Among the potentially interested parties will be teams in positions like Carolina’s. The Hurricanes are in second place in the Metropolitan Division and a tie for third in the Eastern Conference. Their goaltending situation has stabilized with Pyotr Kochetkov winning his past four decisions and posting a 7-1-2 record in his past 10. They’ve been spearheaded offensively by Sebastian Aho, who has 18 more points than the next most prolific Hurricane.
DUCKS AT CAROLINA
When: Thursday, 4 p.m.
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
How to watch: Bally Sports SoCal