ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler returned to the lineup for Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center on Wednesday.
Fowler, who sustained a knee injury on April 4, missed the last two games of the regular season and the first-round sweep of the Calgary Flames. Although the recovery time was originally announced as 2-6 weeks, Fowler said after practice on Tuesday he felt optimistic about being ready for the best-of-7 series opener against Edmonton.
Fowler led the Ducks in minutes played in the regular season and is an integral part of their power play.
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"He's been playing big minutes for us all year and he's a big player for us," Ducks forward Rickard Rakell said on Wednesday morning. "We really need him going forward."
Concerns about another injured defenseman were eased for the Ducks. Hampus Lindholm, who was dealing with an undisclosed injury after the first round, was also in the lineup Wednesday.
Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen (upper-body injury), who has not played since Game 1 against the Flames, remains out. He stayed on the ice for extra work after the morning skate Wednesday and did not participate in warmups.