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Sammy Pahlsson is ailing, and the rest of the Ducks don't feel so good

February 18, 2009 |  2:30 pm

Ducks

Center Sammy Pahlsson, out of the Ducks' lineup since Feb. 2, has mononucleosis and is week to week, a club spokesman said after the team's game-day skate in advance of tonight's game against the Kings at the Honda Center.

The Ducks had previously said only that he had a viral infection.

Pahlsson, a valuable two-way player who has centered the Ducks' stopper line with Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer the last few seasons, will be examined again next Tuesday. He can't skate again until he's cleared medically, and after that would need another week or so to get in shape.

Defenseman Kent Huskins (broken foot) will be examined Friday but isn't expected to resume skating for another week or two.

With their upcoming six-game trip in mind and only six defensemen available, the Ducks recalled defenseman Brendan Mikkelson from Iowa of the American Hockey League as a depth move.

"We've got some people with bumps and bruises, we want to make sure we're in a situation where we don't have a shortage," Coach Randy Carlyle said.

Mikkelson played 16 games for the Ducks this season, scoring one point and accumulating eight penalty minutes.

Other than adding Mikkelson as a form of trip insurance, Carlyle said he wasn't ready to

think about the upcoming journey, which begins Friday in Detroit and continues to Columbus, Buffalo, Boston, Dallas and Chicago. The Ducks aren't home again until March 6 -- two days after the NHL trading deadline.

"I'm thinking about the game against L.A. tonight. I think that's the most important one," Carlyle said, repeating his familiar mantra but not without good reason.

"That's the way we have always approached it: our next game is the most important one and anything we can do to deliver success tonight is the most important thing, not the six-game trip. Tonight is definitely the focus of our group."

Facing the Kings will be difficult enough. Both teams are out of the top eight in the West but the Kings have games in hand on most of their rivals and have three in hand on the Ducks.

"I think the game will be energetic. They're a hockey club that has life," Carlyle said. "They went out on the road and won some games and gave themselves some life, put themselves in a position where they're challenging for a playoff spot, and they're going to be desperate. They're young and they're energetic."

Winger Teemu Selanne said he never imagined the Ducks would be out of a playoff position at this point of the season.

"We had high hopes," he said. "Same hand, I think this is a good wake-up call for us, that we have been taking too many games -- I don't know what's the right word--but we haven't shown up.

"It's time now to start the last stretch and tonight's game is the first in that stretch. The road trip we have coming, that's going to be a turning point."

More later at www.latimes.com/sports.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Coach Randy Carlyle, seen here during the Ducks' 8-4 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, says he is only thinking about tonight's game against the Kings. Credit: Victor Decolongon / Getty Images

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