Penner reunites with Getzlaf-Perry, Etem debuts tonight for Ducks

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The Anaheim Ducks will have a different look up front on Thursday night against the Rangers.

Dustin Penner, a healthy scratch for the season opener, will skate on the club’s top line alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf while Emerson Etem — the club’s first-round pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — will make his regular season debut.

Etem, 21, missed the first three games of the season with a lower-body injury. It’s unclear where he’ll fit into the lineup — he had good success during last year’s opening playoff round with Kyle Palmieri, but Palmieri is currently out with an upper-body ailment.

As for Penner, well, he’s worked his way back onto the top unit.

The burly winger has an assist and a plus-3 rating over the last few games, good enough to get him back on a line with Perry and Getzlaf.

“We feel he’s ready to play there,” head coach Bruce Boudreau told the team website. “He was the guy we signed to be in that position, and we feel he’s ready now. He’s done a lot by himself. I don’t think he liked sitting out or doing a lot of extra skating.

“He’s worked really hard to get where he is. Hopefully, he’ll play really well tonight.”

Penner, 31, signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Ducks this past summer, reuniting the “Kid Line” of  himself, Getzlaf and Perry — one that to prominence during the 2006-07 season and was a driving force behind the first and only Stanley Cup in franchise history.

That year, Penner scored a career-high 29 goals and emerged as a budding star power forward, leading to him signing a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet with Edmonton.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: