Ducks' Corey Perry's knee injury has a domino effect

Ducks right wing will miss game in Winnipeg as Rickard Rakell is called up from AHL

Right wing Corey Perry said he doesn't believe his left knee was severely injured as the result of a hip check he absorbed from Minnesota's Keith Ballard on Friday, but he expects it will "take a little bit of time" to mend.

"It's all right. A little stiff, but it will heal," he said Saturday.

Perry, who leads the Ducks with 14 goals, was injured during the first period of their 5-4 victory at Minnesota and didn't return. He accompanied the team to Winnipeg and will be reevaluated when the team returns to Southern California.

"We'll take some time and let it heal," said Perry, who received treatment Saturday and wore a brace. "I'll be back. I don't think it's anything too serious."

Perry said he couldn't dodge the hit. "I saw him coming. I had nowhere to go. He just got me in an awkward position and kind of hit me low," Perry said. "It's just one of those things where I had no real estate, nowhere to go. He hit me."

Perry's injury had a domino effect. First, forward Rickard Rakell was called up from Norfolk (Va.) of the American Hockey League, and he centered for Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg during Saturday's practice. Also, Coach Bruce Boudreau's experiment of moving winger Devante Smith-Pelly at center was put on hold, with Smith-Pelly back at right wing alongside Rene Bourque and Ryan Getzlaf.

"I'm comfortable moving back and forth now, I guess, so it doesn't really bother me," Smith-Pelly said.

Rakell had only three assists in 17 previous games with the Ducks this season. He played in Charlotte, N.C., and Springfield, Mass., before being called up and began his journey to Winnipeg at 3:45 a.m. Saturday.

"It's a new chance for me to show I want to play here," he said. "I'm excited."

And in goal …

Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen is scheduled to make his 15th straight start because John Gibson (groin) and Jason LaBarbera (broken hand) are on injured reserve. Boudreau acknowledged he's concerned about Andersen's ability to mentally handle the burden.

"I think that's a fair question. When somebody's never had that workload before, you always worry if he can carry it," Boudreau said. "And whether he succeeds or fails doing that until we get our goalies back healthy, he'll definitely learn from it, and if there's a time when it has to happen again, I think he'll be stronger for it."

And it's only going to get tougher. "I guess the big telltale will be next weekend, when we play back-to-backs again," Boudreau said of games at Edmonton and Winnipeg next Friday and Saturday.

Boudreau also said he's getting reports on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who signed a tryout agreement last week. Bryzgalov is working out and facing shots from Todd Marchant, the Ducks director of player development. "They're saying he's working hard at it and he's getting closer to being game-ready," Boudreau said.

With Mark Fistric back in the lineup, the Ducks returned defenseman MatClark to Norfolk.

TODAY

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Etc.: The Jets have won four of their last five games, including a 6-2 rout of Colorado on Friday. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Tobias Enstrom have lower-body injuries, and defenseman Grant Clitsome has an undisclosed injury, leading the Jets to move Dustin Byfuglien back to defense. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (9-8-2, 2.21 goals-against average, .919 save percentage) is expected to start.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

Twitter: @helenenothelen

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