Ducks center Nick Bonino celebrates after scoring against the Vancouver… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )
The injury absence of Nick Bonino last season coincided with the Ducks' slip from elite to average.
So after Bonino suffered what appeared to be a right wrist injury Thursday night in a first-period collision with Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo, the Ducks on Friday exercised caution with the 25-year-old center who is third on the team with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists), behind only Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
Bonino was not in attendance at practice, and Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Bonino isn't expected to play in Saturday night's game against the Dallas Stars at Honda Center.
"He's not feeling really good," Boudreau said. "We want to make sure he's better — there's four games until the [Olympic] break — and we were at a distinct loss when we lost him for six weeks last year."
Bonino ripped a hamstring while playing soccer last year, and a team that started 17-3-3 went 9-8-3 during his absence.
Boudreau said it's likely that wing Daniel Winnik, who on Thursday scored his first goal since Oct. 10, will slide into Bonino's center spot.
At Friday's practice, Winnik was on the same line with Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano. Center Saku Koivu opted to skip the session.
If Silfverberg remains with Cogliano and Koivu, Winnik probably would be paired with forwards Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri or Tim Jackman, one of whom would be scratched.
"He's done a great job when we've needed him, whether it be the outdoor game or he played center in other games," Boudreau said of Winnik.
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Etc.: Dallas averaged 33 shots on goal before Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss at home to New Jersey, in which the Stars were limited to four shots in the first period and finished with 16. Center Tyler Seguin has a team-best 24 goals.