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Ducks forward Perry could return vs. Panthers

by Curtis Zupke

PANTHERS (5-4-5) at DUCKS (11-3-4)

TV: FS-F, PRIME

Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry was on the ice for warmups prior to the game Sunday at Honda Center against the Florida Panthers.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Saturday that Perry would be a game-time decision after he was cleared from the mumps, which kept him out for five games.

"This is me talking, but we'll see," Boudreau said after the game. "He'll probably come to the [optional] morning skate … and then we'll make a decision."

Perry has not played since Nov. 2 and was expected to need time to get his conditioning level up. But Boudreau said Perry's return wasn't necessarily contingent on him getting in a practice with the team.

"What he can do, practice isn't going to help," Boudreau said. "He knows how to score. He's pretty good at it."

Boudreau also said right wing Devante Smith-Pelly was close to a return after he missed the Ducks' 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday with an upper-body injury. Anaheim recalled center/right wing Chris Wagner, who played 7:08 against the Kings.

"I hope there's a chance that he's playing [Sunday]," Boudreau said of Smith-Pelly. "But we called up Chris and he did a really good job. It was more precautionary because we didn't have any other forwards."

Florida opens a four-game trip that includes all three California teams. Defenseman Willie Mitchell returns to Southern California and will play his former Kings teammates on Tuesday.

Florida has not won in Anaheim since Nov. 9, 2008.

Here are the expected lineups:

PANTHERS

Tomas Kopecky - Aleksander Barkov - Scottie Upshall

Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Brad Boyes

Jussi Jokinen - Vincent Trocheck - Jimmy Hayes

Tomas Fleischmann - Derek MacKenzie - Shawn Thornton

Willie Mitchell - Aaron Ekblad

Brian Campbell - Colby Robak

Dylan Olsen - Erik Gudbranson

Roberto Luongo

Al Montoya

Injured: Dmitry Kulikov (knee), Dave Bolland (groin)

Scratched: Sean Bergenheim, Brandon Pirri

DUCKS

Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Rickard Rakell - William Karlsson - Andrew Cogliano

Emerson Etem - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Clayton Stoner

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

Bryan Allen - Sami Vatanen

Jason LaBarbera

Frederik Andersen

Injured: Devante Smith-Pelly (upper body), Francois Beauchemin (mumps), Ben Lovejoy (finger), John Gibson (groin), Kyle Palmieri (ankle), Dany Heatley (groin)

Scratched: Mat Clark

Status report: LaBarbera would be the logical choice after Andersen played Saturday. … Luongo is expected to start for the Panthers. … Bergenheim will be a lineup consideration after healing from a lower-body injury, according to the (South Florida) Sun Sentinel. … Bolland reportedly is on the trip.

Who's hot: Kesler has a five-game point streak; he has three goals and four assists in that span. … Hayes has scored in three straight games. … Ekblad has seven points in his past six games.

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