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Ducks could get forward Thompson back for Game 4

by Arpon Basu /

WINNIPEG – Center Nate Thompson could return to the Anaheim Ducks lineup as soon Wednesday when they play Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre (9:30 pm ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, FS-W).

Thompson took part in an optional practice Tuesday, his second straight day on the ice, and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said a final determination on his status for Game 4 would be made Wednesday.

"He looked good [Monday], but we'll see how it is [Wednesday]," Boudreau said. "Every day it's getting better. It's always day-to-day."

Thompson has missed all of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an upper-body injury he sustained in the final game of the regular season.

The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series 3-0.

Boudreau had replaced Thompson with Chris Wagner for the first two games of the series until Wagner was injured in Game 2. Tomas Fleischmann stepped into Thompson's spot at center on the fourth line in Game 3, and Boudreau liked what he saw.

"It was a real pleasant surprise to us," he said.

Rookie goaltender John Gibson, who has been out with an upper-body injury since April 13, also took part in practice Tuesday, his first with the team since he was injured.

"I would venture to guess that in less than a week John Gibson would be available to play if we needed him," Boudreau said.

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