The Ducks' plague of injuries and illness continued Tuesday when an MRI revealed that Corey Perry will be sidelined three to four weeks with a left knee sprain.
"The next day, it was pretty stiff," Perry said, confessing he was relieved he didn't have a torn ligament. "Each day since then, it's gotten better."
Perry, who leads the Ducks with 14 goals, was injured in the first period of Friday's victory in Minnesota when he was hip-checked into the boards by Wild defenseman Keith Ballard.
"Takes a little time for everything to heal up, hopefully it's quicker than we expect," said Perry, who also missed five games because of mumps.
He will miss the Ducks' five-game trip to Canada that begins this week and includes a stop in Toronto, near his home.
"Only time I get to go during the year. That's kind of the hard part, not being able to go play in front of your family and friends," Perry said.
He expressed confidence the Ducks (18-6-5), who have won four consecutive games, will continue their success despite his absence.
The team has been beset by a mumps outbreak and injuries to key defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Francois Beauchemin, among others.
"Those are things that are only going to make us stronger as the season goes on," Perry said. "Everybody's rallied around each other."
At Tuesday's practice, center Ryan Getzlaf was accompanied on the first line by Devante Smith-Pelly (four goals) and Rene Bourque (one goal), whom Getzlaf played with in Sunday's overtime victory in Winnipeg.
"Bourque skated great the last few games. He's feeling more at home" after being acquired late last month from Montreal, Getzlaf said. "We should be fine."
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said he matched that trio to keep others together, such as center Ryan Kesler and 12-goal scorer Matt Beleskey.
"Made sense to put 'Devo' there; he's a natural right winger … we know he's got good hands," Boudreau said of Smith-Pelly.
Ballard told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he wasn't trying to hurt Perry when he applied pressure.
"What if he beats me back to the net and gets a goal?" Ballard said. "He's a 50-goal scorer."
The Ducks announced they've signed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a one-year contract, pro-rated based on a $2.88-million annual salary, according to a hockey person not authorized to discuss financial terms publicly.
Bryzgalov, 34, was a 2000 draft pick of the Ducks who played a key role in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs. He moved on to play with Phoenix, Philadelphia, Edmonton and Minnesota.
He reported to Anaheim's minor league affiliate in Norfolk, Va., for conditioning after signing a tryout contract with the Ducks last week.
Tuesday's practice also included the return of injured goalie John Gibson to the ice. He has been sidelined since Oct. 30 because of a groin injury.
"Trying to shake the rust off," Gibson said. "See how I react [Wednesday]. It was fun to play hockey."
Bryzgalov is expected to be ready to play before Gibson.
For now, goalie Frederik Andersen, who's played 15 consecutive games — the Ducks going 8-3-4 during the stretch — is backed up by Igor Bobkov, who struggled in Norfolk.
DUCKS VS. EDMONTON
On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.
Etc.: The Ducks start a home-and-home series against the division-rival, last-place Oilers, whose goals total is the worst in the Western Conference. Former Duck goalie Viktor Fasth has started 2-6-2 with Edmonton.
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