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Ducks Hit the Road

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Matt Vevoda

After an early morning practice at Honda Center Friday, the Ducks packed their bags and headed for the road, where the team will play two games beginning with Saturday’s matchup against Pacific Division rival Dallas.

The road has not been friendly to the Ducks early on this season, as the team sports a 0-3-1 record away from Honda Center.

But the team has reason to be a bit happier hitting the road for the second time this season, as a successful homestand yielded three victories in four games to even the Ducks record at 4-4-1 on the season.

“I think we feel pretty good about it,” Ducks defenseman Sean O’Donnell said. “We wanted to get back to have a good homestand, get back to .500, we did that. We like the direction our game’s going.”

Also during the homestand, the Ducks lineup got a boost from the returns of Samuel Pahlsson and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who were each previously out while recovering from with sports hernia surgery. Unfortunately, as two Ducks returned, two also went down. Against Minnesota on Oct. 14, Todd Bertuzzi suffered a concussion, and a slap shot by the Wild’s Kurtis Foster bruised Todd Marchant’s right ankle.

“That’s the life of a hockey team. Injuries, sickness and personal family matters are going to affect your ability to have your team together all the time,” coach Randy Carlyle said after Friday morning’s practice.

The good news is that for the second consecutive day, Marchant practiced with the team and was moving well out on the ice.

“Every day gets a little better,” said Marchant, who has progressed from having to use crutches the day following his injury. “The biggest thing is to keep the swelling down. Hopefully I won’t suffer any setbacks and should be okay and ready to go.”

After Saturday’s game with Dallas, the Ducks will head to St. Louis on Tuesday, where they will see a familiar face in Paul Kariya, who signed with the Blues in the offseason after spending the past two seasons in Nashville.

Dallas is a divisional rival. They’re a solid hockey club, they have been for years,” Marchant said. “St. Louis started slow last year but finished the year really strong. It seems like this year again their playing well. No game in this league or especially in this conference is easy. You have to be ready to play every night.”

Following the two-game trip, the Ducks will return to Honda Center on Oct. 25 to face Phoenix.

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