Toni Lydman was given a seat for the Ducks' home game Sunday against Colorado and Luca Sbisa was in the Staples Center press box Monday as a healthy scratch for their matchup against the Kings.
The Ducks have seven bona fide NHL defensemen and that is one too many for the lineup each night. It also means that Ben Lovejoy is playing well enough to stay in the rotation.
Lovejoy has certainly impressed Coach Bruce Boudreau since the Ducks acquired him from Pittsburgh on Feb. 6 in the early part of the club's most recent trip. The cost was a 2014 fifth-round draft pick.
"He's been good," Boudreau said. "He can skate. He's a right-handed shot that gives you something that we hadn't had before. When you're passing it up the boards to somebody on the right side, you're able to move it as a right-hander than a lefty.
"If you haven't played it, it's difficult sometimes. You're taking the puck on your backhand all the time. It gives us a little bit of help there. But he's been consistent. And he's fit right in well with the guys. I think he's done a real good job."
Lovejoy has stayed in the lineup even with Cam Fowler back after missing eight games because of a head injury. He is also logging significantly more playing time than with the Penguins, averaging 18 minutes a night.
In Pittsburgh, Lovejoy was the odd man out on the Penguins' blue-line mix with several promising prospects also knocking on the door. Now with the Ducks, the five-year veteran says "this has been a blast, just being part of things."
"I feel like my game is getting better," he said. "I've been playing more minutes than I've ever played before. I feel like it's really helped me to become comfortable out there. I feel like I'm contributing positively now."
Lovejoy's signature moment to date came in a recent victory over Columbus in which he stripped winger Derek Dorsett clean of the puck, which led to Bobby Ryan hitting Peter Holland in stride for a breakaway goal.
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Lovejoy adds to depth on defense for Ducks
Orange County Register | Feb 27