Defensemen nearing full strength going into Game 1 against Edmonton – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM —  The Ducks’ defense corps looked a good deal healthier Tuesday, on the eve of their second-round playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers, than it did at the end of their first-round victory over the Calgary Flames last Wednesday.

Cam Fowler skated with Brandon Montour during the Ducks’ hour-long practice at Honda Center; Hampus Lindholm was paired with Josh Manson; and Shea Theodore skated alongside Kevin Bieksa. So, it appeared Fowler and Lindholm would play in Game 1 on Wednesday.

It also appeared Sami Vatanen might not play.

The Ducks swept the Flames in the best-of-7 opening-round series without the services of Fowler, their No. 1 defenseman, who suffered a sprained right knee after a knee-to-knee hit from Calgary’s Mark Giordano in a regular-season game April 4.

Lindholm played in each of the four playoff games against the Flames, but was forced from the decisive Game 4 because of a lingering upper-body injury suffered near the end of the regular season. Vatanen played only in Game 1 against Calgary because of an upper-body ailment.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle couldn’t say for certain whether any of the three would play in Game 1 against the Oilers, but indicated the decisions would be up to Fowler, Lindholm and Vatanen. Carlyle also said, “We’re looking at the possibility of having all three players back.”

MASTERTON FINALIST

Andrew Cogliano was the first of the Ducks to hit the ice before practice, which shouldn’t have been a surprise. Monday, he was named one of three finalists for the Masterton Trophy, given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Cogliano, 29, has played in 786 consecutive regular-season games over 10 seasons, the fourth-longest streak in league history and the second-longest from the start of a career. Doug Jarvis holds the league record for consecutive games with 964 played from 1975-88.

“It was cool,” Cogliano said. “I’ve been nominated a few times and finally snuck in there. I’m proud. Whenever you’re nominated for something, you’re doing something right, so I’m pretty happy about it. If you’re nominated for it, it’s something special.”

Teemu Selanne in 2005-06 is the only Duck to have won the award, which is named for Bill Masterton, a former Minnesota North Stars player who died after a fall to the ice during a game caused massive head injuries Jan. 13, 1968.

SHOOT THE PUCK

Ryan Getzlaf is renowned as a pass-first center, much to the dismay at times of Carlyle. When asked how many times he’s stood behind the Ducks bench and wished Getzlaf would shoot the puck more while playing at even strength, the coach winced.

“How many times? A million,” Carlyle deadpanned.

So why doesn’t Getzlaf shoot more often?

“His best explanation is this: He says the coaches tell him to shoot the puck, but his linemates tell him to pass it to them, so he doesn’t listen to the coach, he listens to the…

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