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Ducks Get Back to Basics in Afternoon Practice

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Kyle Shohara

The Ducks gathered for an afternoon practice at The RINKS – Anaheim ICE, but the emphasis of the hour-long session wasn’t on the struggling special teams. Today was about getting back to basics and, at least for one day, forgetting about a woeful power play that’s only converted twice in 48 opportunities spanning the past 15 games.

“We didn’t talk about it. We took a day off today,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. “You can beat that thing to death and look at video all you want, but the fact is last night we did a lot of good things on the power play. We took a lot of shots and that’s what we were looking to do last night.”

“Sometimes, when you think about it too much, you just squeeze your sticks and don’t make the right plays,” said defenseman Francois Beauchemin. “Just to get away from it today and go back at it tomorrow, we’ll have some success.

“Our five-on-five play was excellent last night, as it was against L.A. and Colorado,” he said. “It’s just the special teams right now. We have to work on that and get back to basics.”

Despite recent struggles, the Ducks lead the Pacific Division with 97 points and have an opportunity to gain a two-point lead on the Sharks tomorrow night at the SAP Center. San Jose also has 97 points, but has played one more game than the Ducks.

It’ll be a playoff-type atmosphere inside one of the loudest buildings in the league, and the Ducks know it’ll be a grinding, physical battle.

“This is playoff hockey for sure,” said Getzlaf. “We’re going into a hostile building fighting for first place. We just have to make sure we go in with controlled emotion going into the first period, and then we’ll go from there.”

An MRI revealed defenseman Cam Fowler has a sprained left MCL and is out three to five weeks (left leg).  Fowler missed his second consecutive game last night with the injury sustained last Friday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Nick Bonino’s status remains uncertain after the Ducks center was left hobbling after blocking a shot with his foot during the latter stages of last night’s game. Head coach Bruce Boudreau says Bonino is “day to day” with a lower-body injury.

“Once the soreness subsides, I assume he’ll be able to skate,” said Boudreau. “And once he’s able to skate, he’s going to be able to play.
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