Better safe than sorry will remain the plan with sidelined Ducks players Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin.
Anaheim Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the first-place team's Monday morning skate that he'll keep Perry and Beauchemin on the shelf in Monday night's Pacific Division showdown against the second-place San Jose Sharks at Honda Center.
"I don't think they'll be playing tonight," Boudreau said. "Obviously, they're getting closer. We don't play for another four days after tonight. It seems silly to not give them that opportunity to completely heal."
Perry, with 14 goals in 23 games, has been out since getting hip-checked into the boards Dec. 5 in Minnesota and suffering a knee sprain.
He skated for an extended period following the Ducks' Monday skate, and 12 other forwards in the dressing room had fresh pants laid in their stall, so he indeed appears out barring an unexpected, last-minute need.
Beauchemin said on Sunday he wanted to remain out through Saturday's game in Arizona to allow his broken finger more healing time. He was hurt blocking a shot in a Nov. 25 game.
GAME ON: The Ducks (22-8-5) don't appear to have given the Sharks (19-11-4) their full attention in two previous meetings this season, and getting outscored by a combined 5-1 in the first periods of both losses is proof.
San Jose has Anaheim's full focus tonight, with the Sharks on a five-game winning streak and capable of trimming the division lead to five points before the holiday break.
"They're playing good hockey and have beaten us handily … you've got to put an end to that," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. "We want to feel good about ourselves," heading into the break following a 6-2 loss Friday in Ottawa.
When the Sharks visited Anaheim Oct. 26, they were coming off a loss to the lowly Buffalo Sabres the night before, and the game disintegrated into a fight-fest in which Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy suffered a broken finger in the defeat.
On Nov. 29 in San Jose, the Ducks' 4-1 loss to Chicago the day before was followed by a 6-4 defeat.
"We've needed to match their intensity at the start. If we do that, we'll have success," Ducks forward Patrick Maroon said. "It'll be a physical, up-and-down game. Everybody's ready."
ANDERSEN BACK IN NET: Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen was first off the ice at Monday's skate, indicating he'll be back in net after a three-day break that ended a run of 20 consecutive games. Ilya Bryzgalov was in net in the Ottawa loss.