Ducks right wing Corey Perry did not join the Ducks on their post-holiday trip to Arizona on Saturday, deciding to let at least one more game pass before returning from a sprained knee suffered Dec. 5.
“No setbacks, just not ready yet,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Perry. “He’s skating [Saturday], but he’s been out for a long time, then you don’t skate for all these days . . . you’re going to throw him in?”
The answer is no, but Anaheim will re-insert veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who's been out since suffering a broken finger blocking a shot in a Nov. 25 game.
Beauchemin "has been skating with the team, physically he’s in good shape, that’s why he’s playing,” Boudreau said.
The Ducks, leading the NHL with a 23-8-5 record, took four days off and even bypassed the opportunity for a Saturday morning skate at Gila River Arena, where they will face the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. They play again Sunday at home against Vancouver.
After the Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, in overtime Monday, Boudreau gave them Tuesday off. And the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement mandates that players be off for a holiday break Dec. 24-26.
“We’re all professionals, I’m hoping they were in the gym, that they did something, but I don’t know,” Boudreau said. “As far as I know, the guys haven’t been on the ice in four days. It’s a different situation for us.
“We had to weigh ... was it better to leave [Orange County] at 6 a.m. ... getting up at 5" for a morning skate?
Instead, the Ducks boarded a 9 a.m. flight and arrived in Phoenix around 11 a.m. MST. Still, Boudreau said he “would not accept” the layoff as an excuse for any mistakes.
Jackman was knocked briefly unconscious by a hit to the chin with stick in hand from San Jose forward John Scott in the second period Monday. Scott was suspended by the NHL for four games on Wednesday because of the hit.
Jackman has not been cleared to play, Boudreau said.
Palmieri, who has five goals and four assists in 15 games, suffered a shoulder injury Dec. 16 in Toronto and will miss another one to two weeks, Boudreau said following a medical examination this week of the forward.
Andersen had 30 saves in Monday’s victory while backup Ilya Bryzgalov was battered by six goals in a Dec. 19 loss in Ottawa.
“He’s more game-ready to play [and] we’ve given him rest,” Boudreau said of Andersen. “He could easily come back and play again” Sunday.