Some injury news from sunny California this afternoon, the Ducks will be without Kevin Bieksa tonight for Game 2 of the Oilers/Ducks series. From the Anaheim Ducks Twitter account.
INJURY UPDATE: Carlyle confirmed Bieksa (lower body) will miss tonight's game. Said he could be available later in the series.— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) April 28, 2017
Bieksa has played in all of the Ducks five playoff games this season, recording four assists in the Ducks first round
beating of win over the Calgary Flames and averaging over 19 minutes a night. In Game 1 against the Oilers he left after playing just 7:03 when he suffered the “lower body injury” that will keep him out of the Duck lineup this evening.
A replacement for Bieksa has not yet been announced, but an earlier tweet from the Ducks hints that it might be Sami Vatanen who last played in Game 1 of the series against Calgary.
Randy Carlyle on Vatanen: "It's always nice when a player is close to coming back and you can potentially put them back in the lineup."— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) April 28, 2017
If it is Vatanen that draws in for the injuries Bieksa, this is something that could help the Ducks in Game 2 and potentially beyond. Bieksa has a lot of playoff experience but is starting to show some signs of age. His CF% this season was the second worst among Ducks defenders at 45.2%; Vatanen was much closer to break even at 48.9%. With Bieksa being a former Canuck there are probably a few Oilers fans who will be happy to see him out of the lineup tonight, I’m not one them.