OTTAWA -- Dean McAmmond wanted to play in Game 4, even saying he felt "pretty good, considering taking a pretty good shot to the chin."
McAmmond was knocked out in the third
period of Saturday night's 5-3 victory when Pronger flattened him
with a straight elbow.
Although McAmmond hoped to get back in the lineup to help the
Senators try to even the best-of-seven series, the Ducks knew they
would be without Pronger -- their Norris Trophy finalist who was
suspended for the hit.
McAmmond skated lightly Monday morning and rode the stationary
bicycle. In just 24 hours there was marked improvement in his
condition that was diagnosed as a concussion, the Senators said.
"I rode for about four or five minutes," McAmmond said of his
activity Sunday. "Didn't feel quite comfortable in the head.
"I rode today, and I didn't have as much discomfort. Because of
the whiplash ... I have a lot of stiffness in my neck and whatnot.
It's kind of tough to differentiate the pain. You want to be
careful to know exactly what it is you're feeling."
The Ducks are feeling the loss of Pronger for the second time in
the playoffs, both due to one-game suspensions. He also sat out
Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against Detroit for his
high hit against the boards that bloodied Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom.
McAmmond lost consciousness on the ice and was woozy when he was
helped to the dressing room in the third period Saturday. He didn't
return to the game. Senators coach Bryan Murray said he would wait
to hear from the team doctor in the afternoon before deciding if
McAmmond was OK to play Monday night.
"Nothing would surprise me. It's playoffs. It's what happens,"
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "People make huge strides in their
recoveries after suspensions. It's amazing."
McAmmond doesn't harbor ill feelings toward Pronger but felt the
one-game ban the NHL gave the All-Star defenseman was necessary.
He didn't appreciate any suggestions from the Ducks that he
might have played up the severity of his injury to cull a harsher
punishment for Pronger.
"They can think what they want," McAmmond said. "If they want
to speculate that, that's up to them really.
"You should kind of look at the hit and judge it by the
flagrancy there and not matter if the guy is up the next minute or
out a whole year."
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.