By Kyle Shohara
A day after Ducks boss Bob Murray gave out a laundry list full of current injured players, many of them hit the ice with the rest of the team this morning for the first day of postseason practice.
Among them were left wing David Perron (separated shoulder), center Rickard Rakell (appendectomy) and defensemen Kevin Bieksa (upper body), Korbinian Holzer (lower body) and Sami Vatanen (illness). Not on the ice were left wing Brandon Pirri (upper body) and defenseman Clayton Stoner (undisclosed).
Perron says his main goal is to play Friday, but he knows there is a chance it could be pushed back to Game 2 (Sunday) or later in the series. He also knows he’ll feel some pain solely because of the nature of the playoffs, but he’s confident his shoulder won’t get worse.
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau wasted no time getting them all back into the mix. He used Perron interchangeably with Jakob Silfverberg on the No. 1 power-play unit with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Vatanen anchored the point with Cam Fowler, while Rakell saw time on the second PP unit with Ryan Kesler and Jamie McGinn. Shea Theodore and Hampus Lindholm manned the point for that group.
During even-strength drills, Bieksa was paired with Fowler, while Lindholm skated with familiar d-partner Josh Manson, and Vatanen and Simon Despres rounded out the third pair. Up front, the lines were as follows:
The fourth d-pair was composed of Holzer and Theodore. John Gibson and Frederik Andersen manned the crease.
“Today was another good day,” said Rakell, who skated for the third day in a row. “I’m trying to feel as comfortable as I can. I felt good.”
Rakell says he lost “quite a bit” of weight since undergoing the procedure, and still has a few more pounds to gain, but he credited the training staff for helping him regain what was lost.
Vatanen was his usual outgoing self in the Ducks locker room today, and says he’s counting down the days until Game 1 begins.
“It’s a great time of the year,” said Vatanen, who had three goals and 11 points in 16 playoff games last year. “I’m anxious for the puck to drop. I’ve been feeling good. I’ve been skating with Raks [Rakell] and the boys. I’m ready to play.”