The Ducks will look to bounce back in a couple of ways when they head up the highway to take on the rival Kings in preseason action at Staples Center tonight.
Anaheim dropped a 2-1 decision to the visiting Avalanche two nights ago at Honda Center, the victim of an outstanding night for Semyon Varlamov. The Colorado netminder had 37 saves, several of them robbing the Ducks of what seemed like certain goals. Meanwhile, the Ducks are also looking for retribution from a 6-0 beating at the hands of these Kings last week at Honda Center.
"We're playing two of our biggest rivals in the final two games,” said winger Kyle Palmieri, referring to tonight’s game and the preseason finale Saturday night vs. San Jose at home. “We're going to see them five or six times next season. Every game matters."
A bigger concern for the Ducks is the team’s health, as several players have gotten banged up during camp and/or preseason game action.
Young wingers Jakob Silfverberg and Emerson Etem skipped practice yesterday after each suffering ailments in their last exhibition games, Silfverberg leaving in the third period Sunday night with a lower body injury. Defenseman Luca Sbisa is out another week after hurting his ankle in the preseason opener on September 16.
Corey Perry left the ice early during yesterday’s practice after getting hurt during a drill, but appeared to be okay afterwards.
“That’s what I said at the end of practice,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Let’s not practice anybody. Let’s just get off the ice before anybody else gets hurt.”
The main goal for Boudreau’s team is to get back to optimum health before the season opener in Colorado on October 2. Only Sheldon Souray is certain to miss opening night, as he nurses a torn ligament in his wrist, which he hurt during the offseason.
“Teams go through this,” Boudreau said. “I’d much prefer to go through this in training camp and be healthy in the regular season than the other way around.”
Tonight's game will be the first TV broadcast of the preseason, as it will be carried locally on Prime Ticket.
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