By Lance Pugmire
7:11 PM PST, January 2, 2014
After making first-line forward Dustin Penner a healthy scratch in favor of Jakob Silfverberg on Tuesday, Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau had Silfverberg paired again with stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in practice Thursday.
Penner has one goal and no assists and has twice been a healthy scratch — including Tuesday — in the last 11 games.
Penner, 31, practiced Thursday with a second line of Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne.
"I don't know how long it'll last, but I thought [the first line] played pretty well together the other night, so I want to try them again," Boudreau said. "I'm sitting three guys out every night. It was [Penner's] turn. And it'll be a different lineup tomorrow. When they're all playing good, it's difficult. We want to keep everyone involved in what we're doing here."
Silfverberg, 22, had an assist in Tuesday's 6-3 victory over San Jose and was plus-two in goal differential in 16 minutes 51 seconds of ice time. He said he has "no idea" how long he'll keep first-line status.
Perry leads the Ducks with 22 goals and Getzlaf, with 20 goals, is in the most-valuable-player discussion, just five goals shy of his career high. He is also 10th in the league in assists with 27.
"They're very easy to play with and I hope to play another game with them, but I can't tell for sure," Silfverberg said.
"Those two guys are very skilled, they're so good with the puck. It's just a matter of me working hard and winning every battle, and win some pucks back for them. … They're noticed whenever they're on the ice."
Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy's wife, Avery, nudged him awake after 1 a.m. Tuesday to make it clear there would be no New Year's Day baby.
Lovejoy said he "broke a few speed limits" driving his wife from their home in Newport Beach to an Orange hospital, where the couple's first child, daughter Lila, was born at 10:44 a.m.
"I was there another hour, to know they were both very healthy," and "told Avery we were playing the Sharks tonight, I had to go eat and go," Lovejoy said.
Lovejoy not only played 16:28, but he also made the game's biggest defensive play, diving forward and extending his stick to stop San Jose's Joe Thornton as he swarmed to a net briefly vacated by Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller with Anaheim leading, 3-2, late in the second period.
"I was exhausted during the game, I had a lot of adrenaline, but I had to play a smart game because I didn't have a lot of jump in my legs," Lovejoy said.
The "pure joy" Cam Fowler experienced at being named to the Team USA Olympic hockey team was followed by a slew of surprise congratulatory messages from across the nation.
"Old friends, coaches, old baseball coaches, my middle school principal," the Ducks 22-year-old defenseman said. "The reception I got was amazing."
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.
Etc.: Boudreau said he heard the sold-out Honda Center crowd rise to a more influential level in the rivalry game against San Jose. The Ducks are unbeaten in regulation in 17 home games. "Amazing how much energy that gives the players," Boudreau said.
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