ANAHEIM, Calif. - Go big at home the Anaheim Ducks' mantra as they open their first-round series against the Winnipeg Jets.
Anaheim's Game 1 lineup is the biggest possible. Patrick Maroon is on the first line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, defencemen Clayton Stoner and Simon Depres are in over James Wisniewski and forward Emerston Etem replaces Jiri Sekac.
Coach Bruce Boudreau praised the six-foot-three Stoner as "the best defenceman on the ice" in Minnesota's first-round series a year ago and expects him to match up well against the Jets along with partner Sami Vatanen.
"He rises to that occasion and has in the past," Boudreau said of Stoner. "He's a physical player and we're playing against a big, physical team. It seems like a natural fit for him to be a good player for us."
Maroon on wing with Getzlaf and Perry is a repeat of the three regular-season Jets-Ducks games, and Boudreau liked what he saw. At six-foot-two, the 26-year-old Maroon brings the "meat and potatoes" to Anaheim's top trio.
"I think for me I just need to go out there and be big and physical, use my skill and go to the net, create traffic for those two and create havoc for the D back there on Winnipeg to open up space for those two," Maroon said. "That's my job."
Getzlaf said: "We're not a line that likes to run up-and-down the rink all night long. We like to control (the puck) as much as we can and (Maroon) does that for us."
Injured Jets forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) missed the bulk of practice Thursday morning before jumping on late, casting doubt on his Game 1 availability. Coach Paul Maurice on Wednesday called Perreault a game-time decision.
Winnipeg ran lines with Jiri Tlusty on the third line, the spot Perreault would likely occupy.
Captain Andrew Ladd did not take part in practice, though he is expected to play in Game 1. Eric O'Dell took his place in line rushes.
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