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Category: Ray Emery

Ducks' Ray Emery questionable for Friday's game against Kings

Li6zpfnc The Ducks, who still need two points to clinch a playoff spot, might have to play their biggest game of the season without the goalie who unexpectedly saved them when Jonas Hiller was felled by vertigo.

Ray Emery, who suffered a lower-body injury on Wednesday, is questionable for Friday’s game against the Kings at Honda Center, Coach Randy Carlyle said after the Ducks’ morning skate. If he can't start, Dan Ellis would likely get the assignment.

Carlyle said Hiller is available but it’s doubtful the Ducks would throw Hiller in as the starter because he hasn’t played since a 12-minute, three-goal performance at Nashville on March 24.

Emery said Thursday he didn't think the injury was related to the radical hip surgery he underwent nearly a year ago, and he was being cautious because he wants to stay in the lineup when he returns, not be in and out because of this new problem. 

“We’ll make a decision later this afternoon as to the possibility of him backing up or playing for our hockey club tonight,” Carlyle said. “We have an option of three people now, with Jonas Hiller, and Dan Ellis and Ray Emery all being available for tonight’s game.”

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Ducks' Corey Perry gets star treatment, Ray Emery gets lower-body treatment

Corey1 Ducks right wing Corey Perry got an unexpected perk for becoming the NHL’s first 50-goal scorer this season and a formidable most-valuable-player candidate.

When the team’s practice ended Thursday, Perry had a new personal valet in the locker room to unlace his skates: linemate Ryan Getzlaf.

“He scores 50, I untie his skates,” Getzlaf said. “We don’t want him hurting his hands untying his skates.”

Perry, who hit 50 with a hat trick in the Ducks’ 6-2 rout of San Jose on Wednesday, said he didn’t feel much different Thursday than any other day.

“The phone was off the hook this morning that’s for sure,” he said. “I had a few text messages and voice mails but nothing’s changed. It’s another day and the sun came up again and you just go out again and practice.”

But it's also the day the Ducks can clinch a playoff spot if the Dallas Stars lose to Colorado. The Ducks must gain two points or have Dallas fail to gain two points in its remaining three games. If Dallas doesn’t oblige Thursday night, the Ducks can secure a spot by beating the Kings on Friday at the Honda Center in the opener of a home-and-home series that ends each team’s season.

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Time coming for Ducks' Jonas Hiller to set a timetable for his return

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Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller, plagued by vertigo symptoms for more than a month and able to play in only two games since he appeared in the NHL All-Star Game, said he’s feeling “definitely better than a week ago” after alternating with Ray Emery and Dan Ellis during the team’s morning skate Saturday at Honda Center.

Emery, who made his first start for the Ducks on Wednesday in a 30-save victory over St. Louis, is expected to start against the Kings on Saturday night at Staples Center. The Ducks’ playoff hopes would certainly be lifted by the return of Hiller, who ranked among the NHL’s leaders with a .925 save percentage before he was forced out of the lineup by lightheadedness and dizziness.

There are no projections for Hiller's return, but Coach Randy Carlyle said the team will soon have to determine a schedule for Hiller if he continues to feel good and is able to increase his physical activity.

“He’s had one bad day out of seven, so we think that’s progress,” Carlyle said. “This is a day-to-day issue. At some point we’ll have to make a date. If he’s [fine] 14 days straight, are we waiting too long or should we put him in the net? That’s a decision that we have to come together with, with him, our medical staff and the coaching staff.”

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Ducks stumble in 5-2 loss to Phoenix Coyotes

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In a playoff scramble so tight that the slightest stumble can turn into a major setback, the Ducks on Sunday made too many missteps on defense and in goal to expect to win.

Goaltender Dan Ellis’ sub-par performance led Coach Randy Carlyle to bring Ray Emery off the bench and into the nets for Emery's first NHL appearance since Feb. 1, 2010, perhaps in hopes the change would jar the Ducks out of their lethargic state. But the move didn’t work, and the Ducks fell to the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-2, before an announced crowd of 14,326 at Honda Center.

Had the Ducks won in regulation, they would have ranked seventh in the West. If they’d won in overtime or by a shootout they would have ranked eighth. Even a loss in overtime or shootout would have moved them up to ninth.

Losing in regulation left them 10th, two points behind eighth-place Calgary. The Ducks do have two games in hand but they can hardly be sure of winning those given Ellis’ struggles Sunday and the indefinite absence of all-star goaltender Jonas Hiller, who is still battling a case of vertigo. Hiller has been skating lightly but said last week he's still not feeling right and there is no timetable for his return.

Emery faced nine shots in the third period and didn't allow a goal, though he got some help when a shot that beat him was swept off the goal line by Lubomir Visnovsky. Shane Doan scored into an empty net for the Coyotes' final goal.

Corey Perry scored twice for the Ducks to move to third among NHL goal scorers, with 36.

The Coyotes matched the Kings with 83 points but have played one more game than the Kings. That leaves them fifth and the Kings fourth.

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Koivu likely to play, Emery to be backup goalie for Ducks Wednesday

Saku Koivu is likely to return to the Ducks’ lineup Wednesday against the New York Rangers at Honda Cetner after missing six games because of a sore groin, and goaltender Ray Emery will return after a two-game assignment to Syracuse of the American Hockey League.

Koivu’s status will be decided after the warmup but he appears likely to play. Emery, though game-sharp after two solid performances in winning efforts, is expected to be the backup to Dan Ellis.

“I think looks like I’m in the lineup,” Koivu said after the morning skate.

He said he’s not at the 110% level Coach Randy Carlyle had wanted but is prepared to play.

“You can kind of test it as long as you want but the game situation is the next step for us and it felt comfortable in the practice [Tuesday and Monday],” Koivu said. “With this type of injury you’re hoping that the first game goes well and there’s no setbacks but 100% it’s probably not there. But at this time of the year it’s kind of rare for anybody to be feeling that well.”

He said he felt improvement the past two or three days. “I got a little bit more gym time strengthening it and I think getting a good three days of skating with the team and one good day by myself with the coaches, that’s kind of what you’re looking for,” he said.

Wednesday’s game seemed like a good chance to start Emery, who stopped 67 of 69 shots in two games with the Crunch. And Carlyle said after the morning skate that Emery “is an option for us tonight.”

However, Ellis was the first goalie off the ice, the privilege traditionally reserved for the starter, and Emery said after the skate that he hadn’t been told he would start and that he would have been notified by then.

He said he’s prepared to play whenever he's called upon.

“I feel good. So without playing an NHL game I’m as ready as I can be,” he said.

The two games with Syracuse helped get him to that point. “I hadn’t been in the net in a game situation for about 10 days so there’s certain things you can’t practice in a practice,” he said. “There’s traffic situation, playing the puck under pressure, some scrambles and things like that. I wanted to work on those things and felt I did a good job of brushing up on those areas.”

Emery hasn’t played in an NHL game since last Feb. 1, while he was with the Flyers. He underwent major hip surgery in April and was signed by the Ducks just over a month ago to provide depth in their system. But with goaltender Jonas Hiller still feeling symptoms of vertigo — Hiller skated lightly Wednesday but there’s still no timetable for his return — Emery has moved up a big step on the depth chart.

When he does play, he said, he expects to feel some nerves.

“I love getting butterflies. It kind of adds to your focus and makes you kind of present in the moment,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll be excited to play and I look forward to it.”

Check back later for more at www.latimes.com/sports

Helene Elliott

 

Ducks recall Ray Emery . . . possibly to start Wednesday

Goaltender Ray Emery, assigned by the Ducks to Syracuse of the American Hockey League over the weekend to regain his game sharpness, was recalled Monday after leading the Crunch to a second straight victory. His return to the NHL could be imminent, perhaps as soon as the Ducks' game Wednesday against the New York Rangers at Honda Center.

Emery stopped 27 of 28 shots Monday in a win against the Texas Stars, less than 48 hours after he had stopped 40 of 41 shots in a victory at San Antonio. He was traveling back to Southern California Monday evening.

Goalie J.P. Levasseur, who backed up Dan Ellis Sunday in the Ducks’ 3-0 loss to Vancouver, was returned to Syracuse.

Emery was signed by the Ducks Feb. 7 for goaltending depth and was assigned to Syracuse, where he played three games. But Jonas Hiller’s lingering problems with vertigo forced the Ducks to scramble their goaltending plans. Unsure whether Emery was ready to play at the NHL level again after undergoing hip surgery last April, they acquired Ellis from Tampa Bay and installed him as the starter.

Ellis has started five straight games and will need to rest at some point. With Emery back in the rhythm of playing after two good performances for Syracuse, it’s possible he will get the start and Ellis will get to watch  Wednesday.

Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle never announces his starting goalie in advance, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. 

Wednesday's game, incidentally, has been moved back to a 7:35 p.m. start instead of 7:05 p.m. at the request of Fox TV.

--Helene Elliott

Ducks send Ray Emery to play for Syracuse

Ray-emery_250 The Ducks assigned goaltender Ray Emery to Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Saturday to keep him sharp in case they have to rest incumbent starter Dan Ellis and rely on Emery during the final weeks of the season. That possibility becomes stronger every day that All-Star goalie Jonas Hiller remains idled by a case of vertigo.

Emery was scheduled to play for Syracuse at San Antonio on Saturday and at Texas in a day game Monday before rejoining the Ducks. Goalie J.P. Levasseur was recalled from Syracuse to be Ellis’ backup Sunday, when the Ducks play Vancouver at Honda Center. After that they don't play again until Wednesday.

Ellis, acquired from Tampa Bay for Curtis McElhinney on Feb. 24, has played four games for the Ducks and has a 3-0-1 record with a .918 save percentage and 2.13 goals-against average.

Hiller remains on injured reserve and out indefinitely. He played one game after appearing in the All-Star Game and missed the next three after saying he felt dizzy and lightheaded. He returned to shut out Edmonton Feb. 13 and felt the symptoms again the following day in practice and hasn't played since. He has been skating but there’s no timetable for his return.

The Ducks signed Emery Feb. 7, during Hiller’s first absence, in order to have a goaltender with NHL experience. Emery has dressed as the backup in their last five games.

The Ducks have four back-to-back sequences among the 17 games left on their schedule. That’s where Emery would come in, if Hiller hasn’t recovered and been activated by then.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Ray Emery during his days with Ottawa. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Ducks' Jonas Hiller says he might be suffering from vertigo

Hiller_300 Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller said Wednesday that vertigo might be the cause of the discomfort that has forced him onto injured reserve twice this season with no sign of imminent relief.

Speaking to reporters after the Ducks’ morning skate at the Honda Center, Hiller said he still doesn’t feel right and is limiting his activity to light off-ice workouts. Because of the unpredictability of his situation, the Ducks recalled Ray Emery from Syracuse of the American Hockey League to dress as the backup to Curtis McElhinney on Wednesday night in Anaheim against the Kings.

Emery was signed as a free agent for goaltending depth in the organization and the Ducks’ original plan was for him to spend several weeks in the AHL. However, Hiller’s ailment and the struggles of McElhinney and Timo Pielmeier scuttled that plan. Pielmeier was returned to Syracuse of the AHL Wednesday, leaving assistant equipment manager Jeff Tyni as one of the goalies in Wednesday’s optional practice.

Hiller said he has never experienced anything like this before.

“Not at all, which is kind of tough. When you break something it’s broken and it takes a certain amount of time and then it should be good again,” he said. “It’s something that nobody can really tell me how long it’s going to last or how long it’s going to take so I think that’s the tough part.”

Hiller has been having an outstanding season and was the lone Western Conference goalie chosen for the All-Star Game. He excelled in that game despite taking two shots in the face. He said doctors don’t believe those blows are at the root of his problems.

“They kind of ruled out the concussion thing. They’re saying it’s kind of vertigo,” Hiller said. “They couldn’t really tell me where it’s coming from or whatever so that’s kind of the tough part, to just accept it and not knowing what it’s coming from and just work with that to try to desensitize my brain.

“With all the input I get from my body it seems like I’m almost overreacting to stuff that’s normally not important or the brain would kind of leave out because it’s just everyday things, but it seems like right now I’m all over the place because I almost got too much feedback from my body.”

Hiller said he feels symptoms when he moves his head or turns. “It doesn’t really bother me in everyday life because you can kind of limit that, but the problem is on the ice I have to follow the puck and that’s kind of the tough part, when I have to move the head,” he said.

“I definitely feel better than a couple days ago but I still don’t feel like it’s 100% so we’ll see. Hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to see how it goes on the ice, try that out, because I can’t really tell how that’s going to feel like because I haven’t been on the ice for a while.”

He also said he wasn’t completely himself during his 12-save shutout at Edmonton Feb. 13--his last game--but felt compelled to battle his baffling symptoms.

“At some point I wasn’t even sure what’s just imaginary and what’s actually there,” he said. “I just wanted to be back. I was definitely hoping to be able to play through it but it’s not like something else where if it hurts you can still play through it and it gets better. It kind of went the opposite way and I felt worse after the game.”

Emery, who underwent hip surgery last spring, was 2-1-0 in three games with Syracuse, compiling a 2.62 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He won a shootout Tuesday against Charlotte, making 34 saves before stopping three shootout attempts.

A few more notes: Center Saku Koivu (sore groin) will be a game-time decision. Coach Randy Carlyle said center Ryan Getzlaf plans to be at the game although Getzlaf's wife, Paige, went into labor late Tuesday.

More soon  at www.latimes.com/sports

--Helene Elliott

Photo: Jonas Hiller. Credit: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Ray Emery appreciates new lease on his hockey life after hip surgery

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Goaltender Ray Emery, who signed with the Ducks on Monday and was assigned to Syracuse of the American Hockey League after he cleared waivers on Tuesday, said he felt “lucky to be back” after undergoing surgery to graft part of his right fibula onto his femur to restore blood supply to his ailing hip.

Emery, 28, had avascular necrosis — the same condition that afflicted multi-sport standout Bo Jackson. The blood flow to the top of Emery’s right hip had been cut off, leading the bone to deteriorate. He underwent surgery in April and spent several months on crutches but has recently been training and working out with the junior-level Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League.

Immigration paperwork will delay his debut for the Crunch, but he said Tuesday he hopes to get on the ice this weekend.

Signing Emery to a two-way deal minimizes the financial risk for the Ducks. It should give them depth at the minor league level and give him a chance to prove he’s physically and emotionally ready to resume a career that has been dotted with almost as many blots of off-ice missteps as moments of brilliance.

“It’s kind of one continuous journey. There’s been some tests along the way. You learn from everything,” Emery said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. “I’ve made a few mistakes and had a few setbacks, but I wouldn’t take it back just because after going through something you know exactly how to take that situation and you can build on all those big steps.

“I’m really excited to be back and definitely I appreciate things more. I appreciate my body more, knowing that it’s not always going to be there for me and having that scare of thinking I might have played my last game.”

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Emery clears waivers, assigned to Ducks' top farm team

Emery_400 Goaltender Ray Emery, signed by the Ducks on Monday, cleared waivers Tuesday and was assigned to Syracuse of the American Hockey League.

Emery, who hasn’t played since he underwent hip surgery last April, was signed as a depth move and for his experience. The 28-year-old has played in 163 NHL games with the Ottawa Senators and the Philadelphia Flyers and was the losing goalie when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. He also spent a season in Russia's KHL.

Emery signed a two-way deal that will pay him a prorated $500,000 in the NHL or $105,000 in the AHL, making it a minimal financial risk for the Ducks. Emery, who wore out his welcome in Ottawa by showing up late to practice several times, has every incentive to play well and get a contract from someone for next season.

Emery’s arrival in Syracuse is expected to be delayed a couple of days as the club awaits immigration paperwork.

Goalie Jonas Hiller, who returned from the All-Star Game feeling lightheaded and unable to play, accompanied the Ducks to Vancouver for their game against the Canucks on Wednesday but it's unclear if he will be in the net.

The Ducks also put left wing Aaron Voros on waivers, a move that will open a roster spot for the return of Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks’ captain hasn’t played since he was struck in the face by a deflected puck on Dec. 28 and suffered facial fractures.

-- Helene Elliott 

Photo: Ray Emery. Credit: James Guillory / US Presswire

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