Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Palmieri Healthy, Happy

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Palmieri Healthy, Happy

Article excerpt

ANAHEIM, Calif. - After setting career-highs last season with 14 goals and 17 assists in 71 games, Kyle Palmieri was hoping to take the next step this season with the Anaheim Ducks.

Those plans were put on hold in September, however, when the 23- year-old Montvale native sustained a high-ankle sprain when he crashed into the boards while skating on his own to get ready for training camp. A setback about a week before the start of the regular season caused him to miss the first 18 games.

Then, after finally making his season debut on Nov. 16, Palmieri separated his left shoulder a month later, causing him to miss another six games. Despite all that, Palmieri has managed to be pretty productive when he has been able to stay healthy. He entered Friday night's game against the Devils at Honda Center with eight goals and five assists in 20 contests this season.

"Just getting the strength back in my shoulder has been key for me the last week or two, but the ankle feels good and that was the major concern going into the second half of the year," Palmieri said. "Those are frustrating injuries and it doesn't take much for a tweak, but it's felt good so far."

If there was a silver lining to the two weeks Palmieri missed because of his shoulder, it was that it gave him some extra time to rebuild the strength in his ankle.

"It's tough when you're playing. You don't want to tire it out and do more rehab stuff," Palmieri said. "But, the time with the shoulder and the Christmas break, it was not a well-timed injury, but it gave me time to get that back up to speed and the ankle feels good and the shoulder's feeling good now too."

It has shown in Palmieri's play as he scored three goals in his first five games back. Heading into Friday's contest, Palmieri had five goals and five assists in his last 10 games.

"He's a pure scorer," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. …

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