Apr 18, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
Anaheim will be without one of its most productive Game 1 forwards tonight when it hosts the Stars at the Honda Center.
Matt Beleskey, who notched two points and scored the game-winning goal in Wednesday’s 4-3 win, is out with a lower-body injury, the Ducks announced. His departure paves the way for Devante Smith-Pelley to make his NHL playoff debut.
“The three games he’s played for us have been very good,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said of Smith-Pelley, who played mostly in November before getting recalled in April to dress three times. “He’s been a difference maker in the last two games.”
Smith-Pelley, 21, appeared in 19 games for Anaheim this season, scoring 10 points. He’s an effective young forward with some size — 6-foot, 225 pounds — but will need to provide quite the presence to make up for Beleskey, who was playing very well of late.
Beleskey closed the year scoring five points in his last six regular season games; he also posted a career-high 24 points this year, despite appearing in just 55 contests.
- Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins 11
- Report: Fedorov denies contract offer was made to Johansen 7
- Report: Johansen has gotten no shortage of KHL offers 36
- Update: Drouin out with upper body injury, not expected to miss preseason 1
- Report: NHL officials to participate in preseason without new CBA 1
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 14
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 18
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 6
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 26
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (65)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)
- Just how damaging are heated negotiations between Jackets, RFA Johansen? (38)