Kings 5, Ducks 4, shootout.

It’s all over for the Ducks.

Their three remaining games were rendered meaningless about a minute before Anze Kopitar’s third-round shootout goal closed the books on this one. The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3, also in a shootout, knocking the Ducks, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames out of playoff contention with one devastating blow.

Continue reading “Kings 5, Ducks 4, shootout.” »

Bakersfield influx, goalie rumors, elimination scenarios.

1. Several minor-league prospects changed addresses Monday, when the Ducks assigned goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur, defenseman Stu Bickel and center MacGregor Sharp to the ECHL affiliate Bakersfield. Also joining the Condors for the postseason is Kyle Calder, an NHL veteran who has split this season between Anaheim, the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and the Condors.

“I got a text message (from Calder) — he wants to win a championship,” Bakersfield coach Marty Raymond told the Bakersfield Californian. “So
I’m pretty pleased with that and that’s usually contagious with the
rest of the team.”

2. According to the Edmonton Journal, Finnish free agent goalie Jussi Rynnas has met with the Oilers and Stars about possibly coming to the NHL, and also has the Ducks, Flyers and Canadiens on his list. The Journal reports that Rynnas told Stars management he would have a decision in “about three weeks.”

3. The NHL schedule tonight is stacked, with 11 games involving 22 teams. The only two that matter to the Ducks are their own game against the Kings (obviously), and the Colorado Avalanche’s 7 p.m. game against the Vancouver Canucks. If Colorado wins, or Anaheim loses in regulation, the Ducks are eliminated from the playoffs. If Anaheim loses in overtime or a shootout, they need the Avalanche to lose in regulation to avoid elimination.

Avalanche win, Ducks’ playoff hopes dim.

The Ducks’ last-ditch playoff bid hit a snag Sunday night, when the Colorado Avalanche pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory against visiting San Jose.

With four games left in the regular season, the eighth-place Avs now have 91 points in the standings, six more than the Ducks. Anaheim needs to gain seven or eight points in its final four games, and hope that Colorado does not earn more than two of eight points. They would also have to pass the Calgary Flames, who lost to the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1 on Sunday.

The Ducks have won eight of their last 11 games after beating the Kings 2-1 in a shootout Saturday. Their chances of making the playoffs increased to 0.9 percent when Chicago beat Calgary on Sunday morning, but fell to 0.7 percent after Colorado’s win.

Ducks 2, Kings 1, SO.

Saku Koivu has perfected the 6-on-4, third-period, game-tying goal.

On Saturday, he also found the perfect shootout move.

A late power-play goal by Koivu sent the Ducks into overtime for the second straight night. But unlike after Friday’s shootout loss to Vancouver, Anaheim was in a celebratory mood after Koivu lifted a forehand past Jonathan Quick in the third shootout round against the Kings.

Continue reading “Ducks 2, Kings 1, SO.” »

Vancouver 5, Ducks 4.

Ultimately, this game will probably be remembered for Teemu Selanne’s continued march up the NHL record books. He scored a pair of goals, the 602nd and 603rd of his career, moving him past Jari Kurri into sole possession of 17th place on the all-time list.

Continue reading “Vancouver 5, Ducks 4.” »

Ducks sign Holland, demote Mikkelson.

The Ducks are burning up the transaction wires.

Shortly after announcing the recall of Joey MacDonald (and a day after promoting Nathan Oystrick), Anaheim made another nod toward its future by signing 2009 first-round draft pick Peter Holland to a three-year entry level contract.

The 19-year-old center just completed his third season with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League, notching career highs of 30 goals and 80 points in 59 games. Holland (career statistics) ranked second on the Storm in both assists and points, third in power play goals (9) and fourth in goals. The 6-2, 187-pound center also appeared in five OHL playoff contests, scoring three goals and eight points, before Guelph was eliminated by London in five games (4-1).

The Ducks also announced that defenseman Brendan Mikkelson has bent sent back to Toronto of the American Hockey League, presumably so they can get a look at Oystrick tonight against the Vancouver Canucks.
Continue reading “Ducks sign Holland, demote Mikkelson.” »

MacDonald up, Levasseur down.

Joey MacDonald has been recalled from the AHL and Jean-Phillippe Levasseur has been sent back. The goalie swap occurs in the midst of three consecutive wins by erstwhile backup Curtis McElhinney, who has played every minute since Jonas Hiller came down with back spasms prior to Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.

MacDonald was 14-19-7 with a 3.18 goals-against average and an .893 save percentage in 36 games with the Toronto Marlies this season. He also appeared in six games for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1-4-0, 3.20, .892), who received a seventh-round draft pick in 2011 from the Ducks in exchange for the 30-year-old goalie.

Levasseur returns to the San Antonio Rampage after not making an appearance as McElhinney’s backup the last two games.

Ducks recall Oystrick.

Defenseman Nathan Oystrick has been recalled from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves. The 27-year-old has appeared in 53 career NHL games but none for the Ducks since he was acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers for Evgeny Artyukhin on March 1.
The 6-foot, 205-pound defenseman has seven goals and 23 points with a plus-5 rating and 96 penalty minutes in 43 games for the Wolves this year.

A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Oystrick has appeared in four AHL seasons with Chicago, collecting 37 goals, 114 points, a plus-30 rating and 317 PIM in 205 career games. He has also added three goals and 17 points in 39 AHL playoff games, helping lead the Wolves to the 2008 Calder Cup.

Ducks 5, Colorado 2. Updates with video.

Teemu Selanne scored the 601st goal of his career, and Jason Blake recorded five points – a goal and four assists – becoming the first Ducks player to do so since Corey Perry in Oct. 2008.

Selanne scored on a vintage goal, finishing a neutral zone breakaway with a wrister past Craig Anderson at 2:34 of the third period. Two days after Jari Kurri flew to Anaheim from Finland to recognize Selanne’s 600th career goal, Selanne matched Kurri at 17th on the career goal-scoring list.

Here’s the video of the (latest) historic goal by Selanne, with apologies for the Avalanche announcers, who make no mention of the history in the moment: 


Continue reading “Ducks 5, Colorado 2. Updates with video.” »