The Anaheim Ducks are turning to backup Ilya Bryzgalov for Friday night’s game with the New Jersey Devils.
That’s a boost for the visitors, who also have to like Cory Schneider’s history at Honda Center.
The Ducks will give Bryzgalov his third start as they look to close an eight-game homestand with a third straight victory.
Anaheim (28-10-6) cruised to a 4-0 win over Toronto on Wednesday behind Frederik Andersen’s 28 saves and Corey Perry’s third hat trick of the season.
Andersen is being rested to start Saturday’s game against arch-rival Los Angeles. The Ducks will start Bryzgalov, who hasn’t played since Jan. 7 and is 1-4-2 with a 2.95 goals-against average in his last seven starts against New Jersey.
"Usually you come back with the goaltender who just had the shutout, but this was something that we had planned," coach Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks’ official website. "We want him (Bryzgalov) to play, and we need him to play well."
The Devils won’t have Jaromir Jagr, who has a team-high 25 points but did not travel on this trip due to an illness – also the case for fellow winger Tuomo Ruutu.
New Jersey (16-21-8) will turn to Schneider, who made 23 saves in Wednesday’s 5-3 win at Los Angeles to give him a 4-2-0 mark and 2.01 GAA in his last six starts. Schneider has won all three starts in Anaheim with two shutouts during his time with Vancouver.
Andersen has never faced the Devils, who average 2.2 goals and 24.9 shots on goal to rank near the bottom of the league in both categories.
Steve Bernier scored twice on the power play, crediting his line that includes Adam Henrique and Scott Gomez.
”It was a different line than I was used to playing on and it’s a different role,” he said. ”These two guys don’t play the same way, and it was a lot of fun to play with them."
Michael Cammalleri scored his team-high 14th goal to cap a 68-second stretch in the second period in which New Jersey scored three times.
”I think all of our goals were a pretty much result of guys working hard to either keep the puck alive with a second or third effort, or to make the extra effort to get on the right side of somebody and compete,” Cammalleri said. ”Sometimes, that’s what goal scoring is – a hunger and a compete level. Everybody feels a lot better once the puck starts going in.”
Patrik Elias hasn’t scored in three straight games. He needs one goal to become the 91st player to score 400.
New Jersey has activated defenseman Eric Gelinas, who could see action Friday after missing six games with an illness.
Wednesday marked the Ducks’ third victory in their last 21 by more than one goal. Anaheim is a league-best 21-0-6 in one-goal games.
"It’s nice to finally play a game that’s not a one-goal game," Boudreau said. "You can roll the lines a little bit, you’re calm behind the bench, and the players are calm and doing what they’re supposed to do."
The Devils are 4-0-1 in the last five meetings.