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Ducks' Luca Sbisa expected to be out two weeks with sprained ankle

Luca Sbisa, a defenseman, sprained his ankle in the team's preseason opener Monday. He has not been ruled out for the season opener on Oct. 2.

September 20, 2013
  • Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa is expected to be out two weeks after suffering a sprained ankle in Anaheim's preseason opener.
Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa is expected to be out two weeks after suffering… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa suffered a sprained ankle in the team's preseason opener Monday against Phoenix and is expected to be out two weeks, a team official said Thursday.

A team spokesman said Sbisa, 23, has not yet been ruled out of the Ducks' Oct. 2 regular-season opener at Colorado.

Sbisa, from Italy, had a goal and seven assists last season, averaging 19 minutes 50 seconds of ice time, and had 23 penalty minutes in 41 games.

The Ducks also trimmed their roster to 41 players, sending 12 players to minor league Norfolk (Va.).

— Lance Pugmire

Kings' Mitchell a go

Bring on the mountains.

"I'm not looking forward to the thin air," Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell said Thursday, laughing. "Are you kidding me? After the road I traveled, I'd take that any day of the week. So I'm excited. Really excited to go."

Mitchell, who missed all of last season because of an injured knee, is scheduled to play Friday in an exhibition against Colorado in Denver. He last appeared in a game when the Kings won the Stanley Cup against the New Jersey Devils in June 2012.

Many of the top Kings veterans are staying in Los Angeles — Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. So Mitchell's activation at this stage is a modest surprise, albeit a pleasant one for the Kings.

"You put in the work in practice, so you can have fun in the games," he said. "I'm just going to enjoy it and keep working on my timing, working on everything."

Mitchell is eagerly awaiting the game-time moment.

"Just because I haven't played in 14 months, I don't think it's like all of a sudden, it's like you don't know how to think anymore," he said. "Like I said, I think my strength as a player is reading and reacting and thinking the game well, and that's what I'm going to go out and do."

The 36-year-old Mitchell was exuding enthusiasm, a nice fit with the youthful Kings group heading to Colorado.

Among those going include winger Justin Williams, defenseman Slava Voynov, goalies Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones, and the line of Tanner Pearson-Linden Vey-Tyler Toffoli, which was an established unit last season for the Kings' American League Hockey affiliate in Manchester, N.H.

"I think when you play with guys for as long as we have, and especially the year we had, it makes things a lot easier," said Vey, who scored 22 goals and 67 points in 74 games in Manchester.

"For us, we bring different things to the line and we feed off each other and it makes it a lot easier to play."

Vey said they were put together about 10 games into the season in Manchester and found chemistry on an early power play.

"We clicked. We scored two, three goals that game and after that we were together the rest of the year," Vey said. "It was good the whole year and we're looking forward to playing together the next game [in Colorado]."

Staying home

Also staying behind in Los Angeles are goalie Jonathan Quick, and defensemen Drew Doughty, Matt Greene and Robyn Regehr. Captain Dustin Brown (hamstring), injured the opening day of camp, is still off the ice and Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said the team is being cautious in terms of his return.

— Lisa Dillman

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