ANAHEIM -- Earlier this season the Anaheim Ducks were in crisis mode with their goaltending position. They now have three options, each probably equally deserving of a start given the team's stellar play down the stretch. Ray Emery has been the hottest lately, though, and it appears he will be in goal when Anaheim plays Colorado Monday night at Honda Center.
Coach Randy Carlyle does not reveal his starting goalie, but Emery was first off the ice at the team's morning skate.
Emery is 4-0 with a 1.39 goals against average since he signed with the Ducks in February following a year off to rehabilitate a career-threatening hip injury. Considered to be an insurance goalie at the time of his signing, Emery is turning out to be one of the best comeback stories in the NHL this season.
"You always hope that your players are going to come in and give you the best they possibly can give you," Carlyle said. "He's been one part of our hockey club that's come in and had a solid start for us."
Carlyle was quick to point out the contributions of Dan Ellis, who was acquired in a trade after former backup Curtis McElhinney struggled and has filled in ably for Jonas Hiller when Hiller had vertigo symptoms. Emery and Ellis are a combined 10-3-1 with Anaheim.
Monday's game presents a particularly tough decision for Carlyle considering that Hiller is 6-2 lifetime against Colorado while Ellis is 5-1. Hiller returned to the lineup last Thursday and was pulled after he gave up three goals on nine shots against Nashville in his first appearance since Feb.13.
Carlyle reportedly said afterward that Hiller did not have any lingering physical issues, and the team would obviously like to work him back in the lineup.
"He has to tell us that he feels 100 percent in all the situations that we present," Carlyle said. "We try to create game-like situations in practice. We try to make sure that, medically speaking, everything is going in the right direction. Once he feels he can give us that, that's the green light for the coaching staff to make a decision on who plays."
Hunwick, Olver back in: Matt Hunwick and Mark Olver will return to the lineup for Colorado, coach Joe Sacco said. Hunwick has missed the past two games with a back injury. Olver sat out last Saturday's game with a head injury.
"They both presented well this morning, and both guys will be available," Sacco said.
Ryan Wilson did not skate and remains day-to-day with a knee injury. Hunwick's return means that young defenseman Shawn Belle will sit out.
Big line vs. big line?: Sacco put Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk on a line against Los Angeles last Saturday and indicated he would do it again against Anaheim.
"I'm not afraid to change things up within our lines if I don't think one line's going (well), or somebody needs to get going," he said.
Sacco also said he might use the line against the Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry line.
"We'll see how the big boys can do against each other," he said. "I think it will be a good matchup."