The Ducks held practice at First Niagara Center this afternoon in Buffalo, New York, as they prepare for tomorrow night's contest against the Sabres - the first of a four-game trip that also includes games on Saturday at Prudential Center (Devils), Monday at Barclays Center (Islanders) and Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (Rangers).
Below are quotes from Ducks forward Shawn Horcoff, defenseman Cam Fowler, head coach Bruce Boudreau, and Sabres forward Tyler Ennis.
Jiri Sekac On his one-game conditioning stint with the San Diego Gulls (AHL) It was my choice after they offered me to go there. I agreed to it because I think it's better to actually find out if the injury is 100 percent; if I'm able to play instead of coming into a game here and then leaving halfway through. It was definitely helpful for me and I'm glad I went down there.
Shawn Horcoff On the importance of this road trip You look at standings and it's no secret for us that we need to get going here. We need some wins, and obviously it starts on this road trip. Buffalo is a good team and they're playing well. It'll be a tough test for us.
On the days between games The time off had given us time to work on things. We worked a lot on special teams and we had some really hard practices. I think we're trying to keep the tempo high. We know the importance, as an organization, of this situation we're in. It's never easy playing one game with nine days off. I've never had it before. That's the hand we were dealt so we're going to be ready to go.
Cam Fowler On the days between games We knew it was a unique time in the season where you only have one game in ten days basically in the heart of your season. We had to use it to our advantage and get some good practices in. We worked on the things we need to continue improving on. You can't do anything about the standings when you're not playing. The least you can do is improve as a team and work hard in practice, which I think we did. Hopefully we've prepared ourselves to play against a good Buffalo team.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau On the importance of the trip When you don't get any points in nine days, other teams pass you and go by you. There's a sense of urgency to get points. Everybody knows the importance of that this week. The thing is, we have to win. We have to win because players want to win. They're used to winning and don't like losing, and we want to be where we should be.
On Sekac and what he'll bring to the lineup I think, first off, he'll bring energy because anybody that's out and gets a chance to play is full of energy. He can skate. He's going to bring us some energy and speed. It's needed now that Nate [Thompson] is out for three games. [Thompson was suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk on Dec. 11.] It's important [Sekac's] back and ready to play.
On Andersen and Gibson Just watching practice today, you could see it's a load off the goalies' minds as well. I feel bad for Anton [Khudobin], but when you get two goalies, and they know they're the goalies, there's no questions in their minds that they can focus on the practices and the games. It looked like a relief to them more than anything else.
Tyler Ennis On the recent stretch of games The guys are playing pretty well. It's been a tough schedule. The last game (last night versus New Jersey) we might have been a little tired, but we've been in every game. There's a lot of good things the guys are doing well.
On the team I think third periods have been huge in wins over LA and Detroit. Chad Johnson's been great with some nice saves that have been insane. To come from behind in that Detroit game was impressive, and LA is a great team. They're one of the best teams in the league. That's a good team to model your game after. They came in and we took two points from them. That was a great win. I can't wait to get back.