The preseason groin injury that sidelined Ducks forward Dany Heatley for the first 10 games of the regular season continues to nag the veteran, prompting a return to injured reserve.
“It’s still lingering, so I’ll take a little more time off,” Heatley said after Friday’s practice. The Ducks conclude a home-and-home series with the Kings at 1 p.m. Saturday at Staples Center.
Heatley, 33, has no goals and no points in four games since his return. Healso has been a healthy scratch four times after getting just six shots on goal in his 47-plus minutes of ice time.
He said the discomfort was lessening but never fully went away, “so I’ll rest a little longer. I’d like to come back at 100%. Still early in the season, hope I get this fixed. A little more time will help.”
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Heatley — a former two-time 50-goal scorer — was “valiant” in trying to play through the pain.
Also Friday, forward Devante Smith-Pelly took a maintenance day to recover from being “sore,” Boudreau said without identifying the area of the discomfort.
Any type of win over the Kings on Wednesday was going to make the Ducks (11-3-3) feel better about themselves. But getting 49 shots on goal, mounting a franchise-first rally from a two-goal deficit in the final six minutes and seeing the impact of new addition Ryan Kesler (two goals, assist, winning shootout goal) made the 6-5 triumph all the sweeter.
“We were able to hem them up, create a lot of zone pressure and get a lot of shots on [Kings goalie Jonathan] Quick,” said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano. “We played well, hard … they did some uncharacteristic things. But I’m not going to take anything away from our group.”
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said “sticking with it” during the late deficit revealed the team’s “belief and faith.”
Kesler “has established himself as a premier player, knows what it takes to win,” Fowler said. “He’s a big piece of the puzzle, but everyone has stepped up, and we need to continue to do that.”
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