ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Corey Perry is moving closer to a return, but signs indicate that the reigning Hart Trophy winner might miss another game.
Perry took part in all of Anaheim's morning skate, but was last in line during the drills and appeared to be slightly holding back. Perry is recovering from a sore shoulder from a hit by Stephane Robidas of Dallas. He said he is a game-time decision against rival Los Angeles.
Friday is the first of three games in four nights for Anaheim, and it would be reasonable for the club to be cautious in bringing Perry back.
"It's a tough decision," Perry said. "You don't like sitting out, but you also don't know how it's going to feel taking a check, and the possibility of playing three in four -- it's a lot of hockey and a lot of banging. It's playoff hockey and it's going to be tough out there, but we'll see how it is."
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau sounded cautious with Perry and Luca Sbisa, who is recovering from back spasms.
"They're starting to skate and practice," Boudreau said. "But it looks sooner than later. It's not another week, as far I know. It looks like before the San Jose game (on Monday) they'll play."
That the Ducks are facing slim odds at a postseason berth provides justification for more rest. Also, Kyle Palmieri scored two goals in place of Perry on Wednesday.
"It's really a double-edged sword," Boudreau said of Palmieri, who led the AHL with 32 goals at the time of his recall.
"We'd love to see him here to take a good look at him. At the same time, he's fighting with a team all year that's two points out of a playoff race there and he's arguably their best player. He's the best scorer in that league. You've got to weigh one versus the other.
"You've got to think about Anaheim first, but at the same time, do we know him well enough to know where we slot him in next year? If he keeps doing what he did the last game, he's not going nowhere."
This is unusual territory for Perry, whose streak of 272 consecutive games played ended Monday.
"It's tough," he said. "It's been a long time since I've missed a game -- especially in the dogfight we're in trying to catch up and try to make a push for the playoffs in the last 11 games. It's definitely not fun watching, riding the bike and watching it on TV. It isn't what you really enjoy doing."
Sbisa said he's progressing but also said he's a game-time decision.
"I don't want to say I'll be in 100 percent," Sbisa said. "If you want to play, you got to be 100 percent. You can’t make a selfish decision and just go out there for two or three shifts and realize it's not good enough for a game, right? But it still felt pretty good."
Perry on Stamkos: Perry, the NHL's only 50-goal scorer last season, wasn't the least surprised that Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay already reached the mark.
"Not the way he scores goals," Perry said. "He puts the puck in the net with the best of him. He's got a (great) shot. He's got skill and he's got speed, so he uses all of those to his advantage. Fifty is tough and 60 would be a tremendous feat. There's not too many guys that can do that."
Boudreau on Sutter: Boudreau played with Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter on the 1978-79 New Brunswick Hawks of the AHL and briefly with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1980s.
"He had a great wrist shot for his time," Boudreau said. "He was a skinny young guy and he actually played in Japan and nobody knew him other than the fact his last name was Sutter, but at that time only Brian was playing.
"He took no crap from anybody. He wasn't a fighter, but at the same time, stood up for himself all the time. To me, he was a great teammate. He'd do anything he had to do for the team to win, and that's how he continued doing what's he doing as a coach."