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.”
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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 habsinsideout.com, 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.

St. Louis 5, Ducks 1.

There’s an almost endless repository of statistics that illustrate how bad the Ducks have played in their first three regular-season games. They have been outscored 13-2 and outshot 145-72. Their 43.0 faceoff percentage ranks 29th in the NHL, their 48.3 penalty minutes per game 30th.

Most importantly, a team that pledged to avoid another typical early-season swoon is off to an 0-3 start. If there is a hockey-statistical equivalent of the word acrid, just take your pick.

The good news – and there was some good news after Monday’s 5-1 loss in St. Louis – is that the Ducks got to come home in advance of Wednesday’s home opener against the Vancouver Canucks. By then they will probably have added a veteran to help on defense, Andreas Lilja, and have the potential for an opening-night atmosphere that tends to make visiting teams uncomfortable – the same atmosphere the Ducks faced Friday and Saturday in Detroit and Nashville, respectively.
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