It was travel day for the Ducks, who took off for an afternoon flight to Dallas for their game tomorrow night against the Stars.
But before they left, the team held a 60-minute practice at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE. However, several players were not on the ice, including defenseman Bryan Allen.
“Bryan wasn’t out there, so he’s not coming on the trip,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. Allen suffered a lower-body injury during the first period of Saturday’s game in Phoenix and didn’t return. The injury forced the Ducks to play with five defensemen the rest of the game, on the heels of losing Francois Beauchemin to an upper-body injury on Wednesday. Beauchemin has missed the last two games and wasn’t on the ice this morning.
“Beauch wasn’t at practice, so you know he’s not coming on the trip,” Boudreau said. Because of the injuries on the blueline, the Ducks recalled Sami Vatanen and Nolan Yonkman from Norfolk on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
“Sami started the first 15 games we had,” said Boudreau. “He made this team. We just thought his confidence was getting a little low and he needed a little time there [in Norfolk]. He’s an offensive-minded skilled defenseman. That’s what he is.”
Saku Koivu took part in the team’s full practice on a line with Emerson Etem and Devante Smith-Pelly, but the veteran center said he won’t make the trip to Dallas.
“It’s getting closer and closer,” he said, on his return to the lineup. “I’m seeing a doctor in the next couple of days and I’m waiting until all the symptoms go away. I guess the next target is Friday and we’ll see how it goes. There are really no guarantees either way, so we’ll have to wait and see how I react and feel in the next couple of days.”
As players were in the process of taking off their gear after practice, Saku sat in his stall in full equipment as the Zamboni made its final passes. Once the ice was fully resurfaced, Koivu joined Jakob Silfverberg and Sheldon Souray for a second session. Silfverberg is recovering from a broken hand suffered on October 25 at Ottawa and Souray is coming off wrist surgery in the offseason.
GETTING IN THE LANES
After going winless in five games, the Ducks responded with back-to-back wins against Tampa Bay and Phoenix on consecutive nights, only allowing two goals during that span (both of which occurred in Phoenix). The Ducks have recorded 34 blocked shots in those two victories.
“In two games, to only allow two goals, it really shows our defensive work in practice, as far as going in straight lines, being in shooting lanes and blocking shots,” said Etem. “If we play hard like we’ve been doing in the past couple of games, we’ll keep the streak going.”
TOP LINE PRODUCTION
Anaheim’s top line of Dustin Penner, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry is one of the reasons why the Ducks sit atop the league standings.
The "PPG" line potted three of the team’s four goals in their 4-2 victory on Saturday, and the trio has 32 goals and 69 points this season.
“You go down the road, they’re probably the highest scoring line in the league,” said Boudreau. “You take away Ovechkin’s 20 [goals], I don’t know how many his linemates have. There are  goals between the three of them. They’re feeling it right now and they’re playing pretty well.”