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Ducks use day off to get away, relax in mountains

by Staff /

A day after the Anaheim Ducks' first loss of these Stanley Cup Playoffs, they traveled Wednesday to Banff, Alberta, (View gallery) where they will relax before practicing with two days until Game 4 against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

"I think today's the day where you can relax and not think about hockey," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "Some guys are going on the ice just to get their legs going, but it's about getting away and turning off your brain for a day and then tomorrow getting back to work."

The trip gave the Ducks a chance to enjoy the mountains and scenery. That was fine by forward Ryan Kesler, who didn't seem to be harping on the 4-3, overtime, Game 3 loss, Anaheim's first after starting the playoffs with six wins in a row.

"It's a good thing we got [the loss] out of the way early," Kesler told the Ducks website. "You can't go 16-0. It's pretty damn-near impossible. This morning the guys were loose and having fun, just getting away from hockey, relaxing and enjoying it up here."

Anaheim swept the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference First Round and won Games 1 and 2 of this series at Honda Center.

"We just wanted to get out of the [city]," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When I was in Toronto, we'd go out in the country to get away from the hustle and bustle, and let our minds not think about what’s going on. Sometimes, you just want to get away."

The 90-minute bus ride had its share of interesting moments.

"On the way here, a grizzly bear crossed the road," defenseman Francois Beauchemin said, "I love this kind of wildlife. This morning, I went for a walk by the waterfalls along the river and saw five deer crossing my path. It was a good time."

Anaheim will practice Thursday at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre.

"It's a good way to get away for a day and relax," Boudreau said. "Playoffs are a stressful situation, so if you can do this and get some guys not going on the ice and have a good practice tomorrow, and get back, I think we will be hungry again."

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