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Schneider set to make debut

DUCKS REPORT

November 01, 2007|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Mathieu Schneider may not be the cure to the Ducks' ailing power play, but he could be a dose of medicine that a struggling team sorely needs.

Schneider will make his official debut in tonight's home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets after breaking a bone in his left ankle in a Sept. 15 exhibition game against the Kings.

Schneider signed a two-year, $11.25-million deal to ostensibly fill the shoes of former captain Scott Niedermayer, who continues to consider retirement.

"I feel great, physically and mentally," Schneider said. "I feel rested and ready to go."

Schneider, 38, sat out most of training camp along with 13 regular-season games. The Ducks are counting on the veteran defenseman, who has 200 goals and 663 points, to fill the void created by Niedermayer.

"He's a guy that can fill in that 60 points that we lose with Scotty," Chris Pronger said. "Certainly from the back end, we've got to produce. Obviously up front, we've got to as well. But certainly having Schneids back there gives us that experience. He's a playmaker and he gives us another threat on the power play."

The Ducks can use the help there. They're ranked 28th in the league with a 10.7% conversion rate (eight for 75) and they are scoreless in their last 16 chances.

"The only thing I can guarantee is that I'm going to get shots on the net," said Schneider, who'll play alongside Francois Beauchemin.

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TONIGHT

vs. Columbus, 7 PDT, FSN West

Site -- Honda Center.

Radio -- 830.

Records -- Ducks 4-7-2; Blue Jackets 7-3-1.

Record vs. Blue Jackets -- 0-1-0.

Update -- Rob Niedermayer (groin) and Ryan Getzlaf (wrist) are also expected to return to the lineup. Coach Randy Carlyle is considering breaking up the checking line of Niedermayer, Samuel Pahlsson and Travis Moen. Moen skated with Getzlaf and Corey Perry in practice.

Tickets -- (877) 945-3946.

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eric.stephens@latimes.com

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