Ailing Ducks Rickard Rakell, David Perron expected back vs. Preds

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Injured forwards Rickard Rakell and David Perron are expected back during Anaheim's first-round playoff series with Nashville, Ducks general manager Bob Murray said Tuesday.

Perron had an immediate impact with the Ducks after coming over from Pittsburgh in a trade earlier this season, putting up 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) in 28 games before suffering a separated shoulder March 20.

"He's been skating and shooting," Murray told Anaheim reporters Tuesday. "He's probable at any point from the beginning of the series on. He's very probable for this series."

Rakell, 22, had a breakthrough season with 20 goals before needing surgery to remove his appendix two weeks ago.

"He's skating. He still has a couple of hurdles," said the Ducks GM. "He's getting his last IV today because [his appendix] ruptured. He's definitely probable at some point in this series."

Star two-way center Ryan Kesler (lower body) missed Sunday's regular-season finale but is ready to go for the playoff opener Friday night.

"He's a warrior," said Murray. "He played so hard. I felt -- and the team felt -- that after the game in Colorado, I told him he was going home. He didn't like it. He just needs some time. We felt, with the schedule, we might get some time, and luckily we did. It's nothing major there. You watch how he plays. He's just banged up. I just sent him home. No issues. He'll be ready to go."

Top-four defenseman Sami Vatanen, meanwhile, is recovering from the flu.

"He was sick twice in three weeks," said Murray. "He lost some weight, so I just sent him home. I didn't let him go anywhere. He's fine. The guys came in yesterday for their meetings, and he looked just fine. He'll be playing."

Veteran blue-liner Kevin Bieksa (upper body injury) should be back before the end of the series, Murray also said, while forward Brandon Pirri (head) remains out.

"He got whacked in the head against Vancouver (April 1)," said the Ducks GM. "He's riding the bike now. It looked fairly extensive yesterday. He's still not skating quite yet, so he's a little ways away, but I'd say he's definitely available at some point in this series."

Defenseman Clayton Stoner (upper body) was undergoing tests Tuesday and it wasn't clear what his prognosis was yet while blue-liner Korbinian Holzer (lower body) could return during the series.

"He's having some lower-body issues. He's had a chronic issue there. He'll definitely be probable during this series," said Murray.