Ducks at the WJCs, Day 5.

Team USA vaulted into the semifinal round of the World Junior championships in Buffalo with a 2-1 win over Switzerland.

Whittier native and Detroit Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan scored the game-winning goal midway through the second period, while forwards and Ducks prospects Emerson Etem (Long Beach) and Kyle Palmieri were held without a point.

The U.S. will play the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between Canada and Switzerland on Monday at 4:30 p.m. Canada lost, 6-5 in overtime to Sweden earlier Friday.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen, a fourth-round pick in 2009, had an assist in Sweden’s 6-0 win over Slovakia. Finland takes on the winner of Sunday’s Sweden-Russia contest earlier Monday. Igor Bobkov, a third-round Ducks draft pick in 2009, didn’t play in Russia’s 8-3 win over the Czech Republic.

Ducks 5, Flyers 2.

Jason Blake and Lubomir Visnovsky had two goals apiece, and Bobby Ryan added another to lift the Ducks to a 5-2 win in their first game since Ryan Getzlaf’s potentially serious injury.

Ryan centered a top line with left wing Matt Beleskey and right wing Corey Perry. Other than that, the lineup looked mostly the same, with the Masterton Line of Blake (two goals), Teemu Selanne (two assists) and Saku Koivu (two assists) coming up the biggest. Defenseman Toni Lydman also had two assists for the Ducks, including a precision
pass to spring Blake on a breakaway for his first goal of the game.

Jonas Hiller made 35 saves and stood tall after Jeff Carter’s goal brought the Flyers within 3-2 at 3:30 of the third period.

Visnovsky’s goal, with 3:10 left in the game, gave him 100 for his career and completed the scoring.

The Ducks blocked 14 shots, including four by Andy Sutton and three by Visnovsky. Cam Fowler blocked another late that appeared to injure the 19-year-old defenseman, but Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said that Fowler was OK after the game.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Lapierre looking for fresh start in Anaheim. Updates with Bob Muray quotes.

It would have been difficult for Maxim Lapierre to ask the Montreal Canadiens to trade him. The 25-year-old grew up in Montreal, was drafted in the second round by the Canadiens in 2003 and had never played for another NHL organization.

Maybe that’s why he didn’t ask for a trade.

“I think since the new coach Jacques Martin came in Montreal, my ice time was going down every game,” Lapierre said in a telephone interview Friday. “It was a tough year last year. I was patient. This year was enough. I didn’t have the ice time I wanted here and every time I had good ice time, I proved that I can do well. Maybe I wasn’t part of the plan anymore, so that’s why I didn’t ask for a trade, but I asked where I figured in the team’s plans.”
Continue reading “Lapierre looking for fresh start in Anaheim. Updates with Bob Muray quotes.” »

Ducks acquire Lapierre from Habs.

The Ducks have acquired disgruntled forward Maxim Lapierre from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Brett Festerling and a fifth-round draft pick in 2012.

Lapierre has five goals, eight points and 63 penalty minutes in 38 games. According to the website, the 25-year-old center had been complaining about his ice time; he was averaging 11:41 per game.

A second-round 2003 draft pick, Lapierre has one year left on a $900,000 contract. In his best season, Lapierre had 15 goals, 28 points and a plus-9 rating for the Habs in 2008-09. Those numbers dropped to seven goals, 14 points and a minus-14 last season.

One area Lapierre can help with: His 58% success rate in the faceoff circle ranked second on the team. He’s also been slotted in as a right wing.

He is expected to arrive in Anaheim tomorrow and won’t be in the lineup tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Ryan Getzlaf (nasal sinus fractures) placed on IR.

The Ducks will be without their captain for the next two games – and possibly longer.

Ryan Getzlaf was diagnosed with multiple nasal sinus fractures as a result of a shot that struck him in the forehead, between the eyes, in the second period of Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes. The initial CT scan was performed Wednesday, and Getzlaf will see a specialist and undergo additional tests Friday to determine the length of absence and any additional steps.

The Ducks placed the 25-year-old center on injured reserve, ruling him out for Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers and Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Updates on Getzlaf, Bonino, Smith-Pelly. Update.

Ryan Getzlaf earned his day off practice Wednesday.

The center received 10 stitches Tuesday after he was struck in the forehead by a close-range shot by Shane Doan in the second period of the Ducks’ 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Getzlaf was oozing blood from the moment he was struck and did not return to the game.

“He got the puck directly between his eyes, eyebrows. There’s quite a
gash there,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “He had bleeding into his nasal cavity and whatnot, and he
felt nauseous at times, but that’s because the blood is draining into
his stomach.

“We told him to stay at home today. … It’s better that he stay still here for a while and just basically soak that forehead with as much ice as he possibly can. Get his rest and that really should start the healing process here as we go.”

A team spokesperson said that Getzlaf will have further tests and an MRI on Thursday.

One good omen, Bobby Ryan said, is that the captain “was in good spirits” and “was very vocal after the game.”

Carlyle said it’s too soon to know if Getzlaf is going to be available for Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Honda Center. If he can’t go, expect Bobby Ryan to take his place on the top line between left wing Matt Beleskey and right wing Corey Perry.

At least, that’s how they skated at practice Thursday. The second line of Jason Blake-Saku Koivu-Teemu Selanne remained intact. Todd Marchant centered Brandon McMillan and Joffrey Lupul on the third line, and Nick Bonino shifted to left wing on a fourth line with center Kyle Chipchura and right wing George Parros.

Bonino, a natural center, said after practice that it was the first time he’s skated at left wing since he was in high school four years ago. Starting Bonino in a fourth-line role (as opposed to the third line, where he’s been pretty much all season) could be an indication that Carlyle is looking to ease the minutes burden on the 22-year-old center, who will be available to the Ducks for the first time since suffering a bruise on his right foot Dec. 20 in Boston.

Also Wednesday, the Ducks announced that 2010 second-round draft pick Devante Smith-Pelly has signed a three-year, entry-level contract. The 18-year-old right wing has 20 goals and 37 points in 33 games for Mississauga of the OHL.

More in tomorrow’s editions.

12 p.m. update: Smith-Pelly will make $750,000 each year he is in the NHL.

Ducks at the WJCs, Day 3.

Syracuse Crunch forward Kyle Palmieri scored two goals in the first 8:31 as the United States cruised to a 6-1 win over Slovakia on Tuesday. Palmieri tipped in a great pass from Charlie Coyle at the net front to open the scoring, then notched a power-play tally off a long rebound off the boards from a sharp angle to make it 2-0.

Palmieri added an assist and Long Beach native Emerson Etem completed the scoring in the second period with his first goal of the tournament, a wrist shot that slipped out of the glove of Slovakian netminder Dominik Riecicky.

Goaltender Igor Bobkov got the night off as Russia lost 2-0 to Sweden.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen was held pointless but finished plus-2 in Finland’s 4-0 win over Switzerland.

Ducks 3, Coyotes 1.

The tone was set early, when Jonas Hiller withstood an early barrage of shots, and continued long after Ryan Getzlaf left the ice spilling blood from his forehead.

There were some ugly moments to be sure, but the Ducks had to be pleased with a 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale. Goals by Luca Sbisa (his first in the NHL), Joffrey Lupul and Corey Perry completed the scoring in the first period.

“I’m sure it probably wasn’t our best start, but we were able to brush
it off and found a way to score,” Hiller said after an outstanding 31-save effort, “and at the end everyone was playing well
and sacrificing for the team.”
Continue reading “Ducks 3, Coyotes 1.” »

Ducks at the World Junior Championships, Day 1.

Forwards Emerson Etem and Kyle Palmieri were held scoreless, but the United States beat Finland 3-2 in its first game at the World Junior Championships in Buffalo. The game, which was televised on the NHL Network (check your local listings), saw Nick Bjugstad bail out the Americans in overtime with an unassisted goal at 3:08. Team
USA will play its second preliminary-round game of the IIHF World
Junior Championship on Tuesday against Slovakia. The game, to
be televised on NHL Network and streamed live on, will start at 5 p.m.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen, the captain of Team Finland, was held off the scoresheet.

Goalie Igor Bobkov, a third-round pick by the Ducks in 2009, allowed six goals on 42 shots in the Russians’ 6-3 loss to Canada.

Kings 4, Ducks 1.

The Ducks’ problems ran deeper than the rare four-day layoff – no games, no practices – from the time they were embarrassed in Buffalo on Tuesday to the time they were embarrassed in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The layoff couldn’t explain why the Ducks survived the first period but were walloped in the second, why the Kings knew where almost every Jonas Hiller rebound was going to end up, or why Corey Perry – the team’s leading scorer – chose to take himself out of the game for seven minutes of the third period with his team trailing 4-1.

“You expect after four days off that they will be rusty in some areas,” Randy Carlyle said, “but there was one area we were rusty in and that was competing.”

(I used that quote in the game story too and, while I don’t like to double up, a blunt Randy Carlyle cannot be quoted often enough.)

Continue reading “Kings 4, Ducks 1.” »