Ducks acquire Guenin from Columbus for Smith.

In a minor trade for the Ducks but a big trade for the Syracuse Crunch, center Trevor Smith has been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Nate Guenin.

Guenin has played three NHL games this season for Columbus, all in October, and will report directly to the Ducks’ AHL affiliate. A former third-round draft pick by the New York Rangers in 2002, Guenin has appeared in 17 NHL games beginning in 2006-07 with the Philadelphia Flyers. He has no goals, two assists and a minus-3 rating at the NHL level.

In 30 AHL games this season, all with the Springfield Falcons, Guenin has no goals and five assists with 21 penalty minutes.

The Crunch lose their leading scorer in Smith, who has 12 goals and 27 points in 35 games this season. Syracuse figures to get help at center from Nick Bonino, whom the Ducks demoted Monday.

The Syracuse Post-Dispatch reports that the Ducks are recalling right wing Dan Sexton, though the team hasn’t made an official announcement. Sexton has seven goals and 15 points in 14 AHL games this season.

Sexton, Levasseur wrap up big weekend for Syracuse.

Dan Sexton’s three-point game Sunday wrapped up a big weekend for the erstwhile Ducks right wing in the American Hockey League.

Sexton scored once at even strength and once short-handed – who knew he could kill penalties? – and added an assist in the Syracuse Crunch’s 5-0 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Connecticut Whale. Sexton also had a goal in a 4-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday, giving him three goals and an assist in two games since his latest AHL demotion.

Defenseman Brett Festerling (two goals, plus-4 rating), left wing Matt Beleskey (goal, assist) and defenseman Mat Clark (goal, assist) also had strong games for the Crunch on Sunday.

Although playing back-to-back games is common for AHL goalies, Jean-Phillippe Levasseur’s weekend bears mentioning. His 32-save shutout Sunday came less than 24 hours after a 42-save effort against the Penguins. The 23-year-old lowered his goals-against average to 2.81 and boosted his save percentage to .918.

With Timo Pielmeier struggling (6-10-1, 3.61, .898), Levasseur looks like the Ducks’ number three goalie by default.

Bonino doing everything except scoring.

You don’t need to remind Nick Bonino about his stat line.

How closely does he track it?

“Pretty closely,” the 22-year-old center said Saturday. “It’s frustrating not having a point.”

For a man with no goals and no assists, it’s almost a surprise that Bonino has been a fixture on the so-called “kid line” in Anaheim. The kids on the wing have changed frequently, but the center position has been locked up since Bonino was recalled from the American Hockey League in early November. He’s only been scratched once in 20 games, averaging 9:42 in ice time per contest.

Only one player in the entire NHL – Kings defenseman Matt Greene – has played in more games than Bonino without picking up a goal or an assist. Among forwards, only new York Islanders tough guy Trevor Gillies has played as many games without a point.

The reason Randy Carlyle keeps penciling in Bonino is simple.
Continue reading “Bonino doing everything except scoring.” »

Ducks 3, Calgary 2, SO.

The Ducks squandered a two-goal lead, didn’t score or allow a goal in overtime, then rolled the dice in the shootout. Sound familiar?

Friday’s 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames followed the same script as Anaheim’s last two outings, a win in Edmonton and a loss in Vancouver.

Lubomir Visnovsky and Dan Sexton scored in the first and second periods, respectively, to stake the Ducks to a 2-0 lead. After goals by Olli Jokinen and David Moss knotted the game at 2 in the third period, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry scored in the shootout to seal the win. Hiller preserved the victory with a glove save on Rene Bourque on the other end after Perry’s goal in the third shootout round.

The Ducks have gained points in their last three games, and in six of their last eight. But about squandering those two-goal leads …

“The problem is we start thinking too much about it,
instead of just playing,” Hiller said. “We’re thinking about what could happen. It’s a
mental game. We have to do better and we’re going to work on it.”

Continue reading “Ducks 3, Calgary 2, SO.” »

Tough week for Voros; Sexton recalled.

Kevin Bieksa did more than merely win his second-period fight with Aaron Voros on Wednesday in Vancouver.

Voros sustained a broken orbital bone in the fight, putting the forward back on injured reserve after only one game back from a bout with the flu. Right wing Dan Sexton has been recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. He could be called to fill in tonight if Teemu Selanne’s nagging groin injury causes him to miss his third game in the past week.

Here is the video of the Bieksa-Voros bout in Vancouver:

Lupul activated; Sexton to Syracuse.

After 12 months that included two surgeries, a long summer of resting and walking and not much else and, more recently, three rehab games in the AHL, Joffrey Lupul is back.

The Ducks activated Lupul off long-term injury list after the winger was cleared by team doctors to play. He’ll probably be in the lineup tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center; Dan Sexton has been assigned to the Syracuse Crunch.

Lupul played 22 minutes, 7 seconds for the Crunch on Friday, after playing roughly
15 minutes in each of his first two games with Syracuse. He finished with one
goal and three assists.

Sexton had a goal and two assists in six games since his last recall. He had gone scoreless in his last three.

More to come after tonight’s game.

Chicago 4, Ducks 1.

The Ducks’ brand-new jerseys weren’t the solution to end their five-game losing streak. They just made the players look better in loss number six.

Jonas Hiller was pulled midway through an unsightly third period in which the Blackhawks scored three goals to break open a tie game. Dan Sexton’s first goal of the season was the only goal for the Ducks, who play tomorrow night in Phoenix.

Sexton had two of the Ducks’ six shots on goal in the first period. The first — a one-on-none breakaway through the offensive zone — was the prettier of the two, but resulted in a shot into the pads of Corey Crawford. The second, a redirection of a Saku Koivu shot at 16:49, gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead and their first power-play goal on their first man-advantage shift of the game.

Other than the new jerseys, the Ducks gave fans few reasons to watch the rest of the way.
Continue reading “Chicago 4, Ducks 1.” »

Chipchura activated; still no timetable for Lupul; Selanne leaves practice.

Kyle Chipchura was cleared to play after passing his most recent neuropsych test. The Ducks center, who suffered the second concussion of his career on Oct. 30, skated on a line with Todd Marchant, Aaron Voros and George Parros in practice Wednesday.

“I felt fine all of the past week,” Chipchura said, “but the neuropsych tests showed some signs that it was still affecting me.”

Joffrey Lupul played a full practice, splitting the session between the first and second line, but there is still no timetable for his return. More from him coming in a bit.

Teemu Selanne, who missed Sunday’s game with a sore groin, was on the ice to start practice but left after about 20 minutes.

“Why push it at this point, when we feel he’ll be available for us Friday, and here we are on Wednesday,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We have tomorrow’s practice. Today he had some ART (Active Response Technique) work done, which could contribute to a little stiffness and soreness in the area. … Hopefully that isn’t a setback. We don’t think it is. He doesn’t think it is.”

Lupul took Selanne’s place on the second line with Jason Blake and Saku Koivu. Brandon McMillan, Nick Bonino and Dan Sexton, who were recalled today from AHL affiliate Syracuse, formed a line of their own.

Three sent to Syracuse; Carter placed on waivers.

The Ducks assigned forwards Brandon McMillan, Dan Sexton and Nick Bonino to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, on Monday. The Ducks aren’t practicing today or tomorrow, and the move allows the three youngsters to practice in Syracuse while saving the parent club a little money by getting three NHL salaries off the books.

The Ducks have a home game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any or all three players back on the ice then.

Ryan Carter and Josh Green are another matter. Both forwards were on waivers Monday and eligible to be claimed by any of the other 29 NHL teams before 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Green was actually placed on non-roster waivers Sunday, which allowed the Ducks to activate defenseman Andy Sutton from injured reserve and play him against the Edmonton Oilers. That also allowed Green, who has played 11 scoreless games for Anaheim, to remain on waivers an extra day.

The Ducks have now placed Carter on waivers twice this year. The 27-year-old utlilityman has one goal, two assists and 22 penalty minutes in 18 games this season. Carter also had a minus-4 rating while averaging 10:44 a game in mostly a fourth-line and penalty-killing role. His 50.3 faceoff percentage ranked third on the team.

Forwards Kyle Chipchura (concussion) and Joffrey Lupul (back) are nearing closer to their return from injuries. Placing Green and Carter on waivers could be a prelude to making room on the NHL roster.

Ducks place Green on waivers.

Journeyman forward Josh Green has been placed on waivers.

Green was scoreless in 11 games as a Duck, with a minus-2 rating and six penalty minutes, playing primarily a fourth-line left wing role. The veteran started the season with Syracuse, playing seven games and notching a goal and three points.

With forwards Kyle Chipchura (concussion) and Joffrey Lupul (back) on the mend, waiving Green could be the first step toward making room for one or both to return to the lineup. The Ducks also assigned Kyle Palmieri to Syracuse this week, and recalled forwards Dan Sexton and Brandon McMillan.

More to come soon, including comments from general manager Bob Murray.