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Ducks staying sharp as they await next opponent

by Staff

The Anaheim Ducks held practice Wednesday without forwards Mathieu Perreault and Matt Beleskey, who were kept off the ice for precautionary reasons.

The Ducks website described the practice as vigorous while they wait for their Western Conference Second Round opponent to be determined. It will be either the San Jose Sharks or Los Angeles Kings, who play Game 7 on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, PRIME, CSN-CA).

"Personally, I was hoping the series would end last game [Game 6] because I hate having this week of practice," forward Ben Lovejoy said. "We had a really hard practice [Tuesday]. No matter who we're going to be playing, they're going to be coming in with a successful Game 7 mentality, and we need to be ready for that."

The Ducks have not played since Sunday, when they ended their first-round series against the Dallas Stars with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 6.

Anaheim was 2-2-1 against San Jose during the regular season, 4-0-1 against Los Angeles.

"We have a little bit of bad blood between the two teams," forward Emerson Etem said. "Either way, it's going to be an exciting series. If we play San Jose, then I'll play my good buddy Matt Nieto. That'll be a fun test. L.A. is just an all-around playoff team. You see it every year. I'm ready for the test."

Anaheim finished five points ahead of San Jose and 16 ahead of Los Angeles in winning the Pacific Division.

"The Sharks' forward depth and the speed they come at you with … there's just no weak link in any of their forward lines," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "L.A. has different kinds of strengths. They're bigger and stronger on the boards. They've got a history of knowing what it takes to win. They both have star power."

Beleskey (lower body) left practice Tuesday and did not skate Wednesday; he returned for Game 6 after being injured in Game 1. Perrault (lower body) did not play in Game 6 after playing the first five.

Forward Ryan Getzlaf (upper body) took part in practice after sitting out Tuesday.

"[Getzlaf] said he felt fine, and that's a big improvement," Boudreau said. "Mathieu Perreault said he felt fine this morning, but we'll just keep him off the ice until tomorrow. And the same with Matt Beleskey."

Boudreau did not say if Frederik Andersen or Jonas Hiller would start in goal in Game 1 of the second round. Hiller stopped 12 shots after relieving Andersen in Game 6, allowing the Ducks to overcome a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Stars.

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