ANAHEIM -- Corey Perry watched his Anaheim Ducks play the Chicago Blackhawks from the locker room Wednesday and he acknowledged it wasn't the greatest feeling.
"It was tough," Perry said. "The best team in the League -- obviously you want to be out there helping your team win."
Perry returns Friday against the Detroit Red Wings after a four-game suspension resulting from his hit on Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild. The fourth game happened to be the biggest regular season game in recent franchise history. But the Ducks pulled out a 4-2 win to go 3-0-1 without the former Hart Trophy winner.
It also will be Perry's first game since he signed an eight-year, $69 million contract extension. Longtime linemate Ryan Getzlaf said, "Anytime he's been out for any length of time he's come back and made a statement. We're looking forward to tonight" against the Red Wings.
Getzlaf is recovered from flu symptoms. It was no surprise the top line of Getzlaf, Perry and Bobby Ryan were back together at the morning skate.
It's difficult to get back up emotionally after a game like Wednesday, but rival Detroit takes that out of the equation.
"We're not playing a bag of beans here," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "These guys are the best team the last two decades every year. What bugs me is they're coming off a loss. And they've won two in a row on the road, and if you look at Detroit, all year, it seems like when you think that they're down, all of a sudden they win three or four in a row. They've got that kind of team, that kind of coaching and that kind of organization. The minute anybody on our team takes Detroit lightly is the minute they won't be playing."
Valtteri Filppula – Henrik Zetterberg – Daniel Cleary
Justin Abdelkader – Pavel Datsyuk – Johan Franzen
Patrick Eaves/Gustav Nyquist – Joakim Andersson – Damien Brunner
Drew Miller – Cory Emmerton – Jordin Tootoo
Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Brian Lashoff – Brendan Smith
Jakub Kindl – Ian White
Scratched: Kent Huskins
Injured: Todd Bertuzzi (back), Darren Helm (back), Kyle Quincey (cheekbone)
Notes: Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Eaves will return to the lineup from a jaw injury that requires a protective guard on the area. Eaves said he wore something similar in college years ago and tried it out at the morning skate. "It's different more than anything," Eaves said. "You've just got to get used it." ... Babcock said he wasn't sure which forward will come out.
Bobby Ryan – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Kyle Palmieri – Peter Holland – Teemu Selanne
Daniel Winnik – Saku Koivu – Andrew Cogliano
Matt Beleskey - David Steckel – Emerson Etem
Sheldon Souray – Francois Beauchemin
Luca Sbisa – Bryan Allen
Cam Fowler – Toni Lydman
Scratched: Brad Staubitz, Ben Lovejoy
Injured: Nick Bonino (lower body)
Notes: Fasth came off the ice first. He beat Detroit on the road on Feb. 15. ... Cogliano lost his two front teeth on a high stick from Brandon Bollig of the Chicago Blackhawks but didn't miss a shift and skated at an optional practice Thursday. ... Steckel has won 27 of 42 faceoffs since he joined the Ducks. "The first few games he's given you the stabilization of that fourth line that you can put them out in that situation and they're going to do well," Boudreau said.