Patrick Eaves

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Ducks injury woes: Eaves and Rakell will miss Game 6

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This isn’t good news for the Anaheim Ducks.

On Sunday, head coach Randy Carlyle said that forwards Patrick Eaves and Rickard Rakell did not travel with the team to Nashville and will not be available for Game 6 tomorrow.

The Ducks trail the Nashville Predators 3-2 in the Western Conference Final, following Saturday’s 3-1 loss at home.

Rakell, who has 13 points in 15 games this postseason, didn’t play Saturday, with the official announcement of his absence from the lineup because of a lower-body injury coming during the warm-up.

Eaves, who had instantly fit in with Anaheim’s lineup after he was acquired prior to the trade deadline, hasn’t played since Game 3 of the second round.

The news comes one day after Eaves skated — a promising sign at the time, with Carlyle saying yesterday the veteran right winger was one step closer to potentially returning to the lineup.

“It wasn’t a positive response from Eaves in skating yesterday,” said Carlyle on Sunday. “So we decided we’d leave him at home. And Rakell wasn’t ready to skate today. So both players are not available to us.”

Now, the biggest concern for the Ducks is whether John Gibson will be ready for Game 6.

The Ducks goalie left Saturday’s contest after the first period with a lower-body injury. He didn’t return, although he apparently stated to the coaching staff that he will be ready to play Monday.

He will be re-evaluated tomorrow, said Carlyle.

John Gibson (lower-body injury) seems confident he’ll be ready for Game 6

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The Anaheim Ducks now need a win to force a seventh game in the Western Conference Final. They’ll have the opportunity on Monday, as the series shifts back to Nashville.

Ducks goalie John Gibson left Saturday’s Game 5 after the first period and didn’t return because of a lower-body injury.

Jonathan Bernier replaced Gibson and gave up two goals on 18 shots, as Anaheim lost 3-1 on home ice and now sits on the brink of elimination.

Despite his injury Saturday, Gibson seems pretty confident he’ll be ready for Game 6.

“He made the statement he’d be in the next game for us when canvassed him after the game,” coach Randy Carlyle told reporters.

“We can’t risk him. Maybe that’s the adrenaline and whatnot. We’ll do an assessment tomorrow, and we’ll do an assessment once we get to Nashville Monday morning, and we’ll see where that takes us.”

Injuries have become a huge story in this series — for both teams. The Ducks were already without Patrick Eaves and just prior to puck drop Saturday, it was revealed Rickard Rakell would not play because of a lower-body injury.

According to Carlyle after the game, Eaves and Rakell are both considered day to day.

Eaves skated earlier in the day, which is promising for the Ducks.

Ducks’ Jonathan Bernier takes over in net to begin second period (Updated)

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More drama between the Ducks and Predators.

Jonathan Bernier began Game 5 as the back-up to John Gibson. However, Bernier found himself in net to begin the second period with the score tied 0-0.

Gibson stopped all 10 shots he faced in the first period. It wasn’t immediately clear why he wasn’t in net to start the second period.

Updated:

The Ducks announced before the third period that Gibson has a lower-body injury and is questionable to return to this game.

Bernier has played twice during these playoffs. On April 17 versus the Flames, he took over for Gibson and ended up stopping all 16 shots he faced for a win. He then came in to relieve Gibson in Game 6 versus the Oilers in the second round.

Much has been made of Nashville’s injury problems in the last 48 hours. The attrition of this series and the playoffs in general has also affected the Ducks, who were already without Patrick Eaves dating back to the second round and without Rickard Rakell for Game 5 versus Nashville due to a lower-body injury.

Carlyle: Eaves skated Saturday, could be ‘one step closer to joining our lineup’

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Plenty of focus has been placed on the sudden injury — and subsequent surgery — to Ryan Johansen, who will now miss the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Rightfully so, too.

He was Nashville’s leading point producer this postseason, playing a critical role as the middle man on the Predators’ top line and in the team’s first-ever trip to the Western Conference Final.

As stated plenty of times over by now, this is a huge loss for the Predators — especially now, when they’re two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final. With this series between the Ducks and Predators tied 2-2, Game 5 goes Saturday in Anaheim.

Related: WATCH LIVE: Predators at Ducks — Game 5

However, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle would like to point out that his team has been without Patrick Eaves and his offensive capabilities since Game 3 of the second round.

Anaheim acquired the 33-year-old right winger prior to the trade deadline and Eaves was an instant fit in the Ducks’ lineup. In 20 regular season games with the Ducks, he had 11 goals and 14 points. In seven playoff games, he had two goals and four points.

If you were expecting even an ounce of compassion from Carlyle toward the Predators after losing Johansen, well, it’s not happening.

“I think what happens is, when you lose players, it’s part of life in the playoffs,” said Carlyle on Saturday.

“We lost a pretty good player in Patrick Eaves. You guys seem to forget about that. He was one of our top goal scorers, maybe one of our best players since the trade deadline. Reignited our offense.

“So what we tried to do is you try to do it by committee. Because one player is not going to replace Patrick Eaves. And we know that. So it gives other people an opportunity to get some minutes maybe they wouldn’t normally get. And that’s the way you treat it.”

For the Predators, the question marks at center go beyond missing Johansen. Mike Fisher was hurt in Game 4 and Nashville’s coach Peter Laviolette didn’t want to discuss his status prior to puck drop Saturday. At this point, it’s not yet known if Fisher will play in Game 5.

As for Eaves and his status, Carlyle provided a promising update.

“He’s, actually, I think skating right now. So he’s testing it,” said Carlyle. “And obviously that’s a good sign when we have players on the ice. It means they’re one step closer to joining our lineup.”

Banged-up Ducks recall another forward ahead of Game 7

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The physical toll of the Stanley Cup playoffs has seen Anaheim rely on AHL San Diego a few times already.

Now, the Ducks are at it again.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Game 7 against the Oilers, Anaheim recalled Sam Carrick from the Gulls and, per the O.C. Register, Carrick was centering today’s fourth line in rushes.

Nate Thompson, who played just 8:44 in the Game 6 loss to Edmonton, didn’t skate today. It’s been reported he may have suffered a shoulder injury in the Calgary series. Also absent were forwards Patrick Eaves and Logan Shaw, both classified as “highly questionable” by head coach Randy Carlyle for Game 7.

Carrick, 25, could make both his Anaheim and Stanley Cup playoff debut in Game 7. A former Toronto draftee, he appeared in 19 games for the Leafs before getting signed by Chicago, then flipped to the Ducks at this year’s trade deadline.

He’s spent all of his time in San Diego, scoring 11 points in 15 regular season games, then registering another four in seven playoff contests.

Anaheim has already used 15 different forwards this postseason, including farmhands Ondrej Kase and Nic Kerdiles. Kase was banged up earlier in the Edmonton series, but was healthy enough to be considered an “option” by Carlyle for Game 6 (Kase was ultimately scratched so the Ducks could dress seven defensemen).

Kerdiles, recalled four days ago, played each of the last two games while averaging just over 10 minutes per night.