EDMONTON, Canada -- Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau added another player into the first-line rotation Friday morning, moving center Nick Bonino to left wing alongside stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry before Friday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Selanne, Getzlaf and Perry were held scoreless Wednesday in a 3-2 victory at Calgary, when Getzlaf lost 15 of 18 face-offs.
The Ducks (47-18-7) are in the midst of a nine-game stretch against teams out of playoff position as they face the last-place Oilers (25-39-9). Anaheim is two points behind Pacific Division-leading San Jose with 10 games left, while the Sharks have only seven games remaining.
“They’ve never had a left winger,” Boudreau said at Friday’s morning skate, citing the exception of Dustin Penner, who was traded earlier this month. “It’s tough to play with really great players. When you get in there, you think, ‘I’ve got to get them the puck, do this for them ... ,’ rather than playing your game and letting those guys adapt. We’re tossing a few things around, we’ll see how it works.”
Bonino, with 18 goals and 27 assists this season, has the comfort of playing alongside Getzlaf and Perry on the first-team power-play unit.
“Looking to continue that five-on-five,” Bonino said. “Two great players. Wing is something, coming from center, you understand it and being out there with two centers makes it easier in the defensive zone.
“It’s an experiment at this stage. Those guys are good players. We have so many guys on this team who can play with them. I’m just getting a try tonight. The best thing I can do is not change my game, and see if it works with them.”
Perry and Getzlaf have combined for 67 goals, and Bonino’s innate sense to pass first could make it click.
“They both score a bunch of goals, anytime we can get Perry and Getzy in position to shoot, that’s a pretty good scoring chance,” Bonino said.