Ducks 3, Edmonton 2, shootout.

Cam Fowler scored his second game-winning goal of the season in the 10th shootout round, ending the Ducks’ losing streak with one shot in Edmonton.

Joffrey Lupul scored on the Ducks’ first shootout attempt and Taylor Hall answered in the third round, before Jonas Hiller and Nikolai Khabibulin put on a clinic to extend the shootout into the 10th round. That’s when Fowler got the call. On his first NHL shootout attempt, the 19-year-old defenseman fired a hard shot into the upper-right corner to end the game.

“I obviously don’t have the best hands out on the ice. I just wanted to put a good shot on net and give myself the opportunity to score. I think my best opportunity was just to shoot the puck.”

Returning from a two-game layoff while he rested a sore groin, Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist. He dished to linemate Saku Koivu in the second period – the Ducks’ first goal in their last seven periods – and backhanded a rebound past Khabibulin to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead early in the third.

But the Ducks ran out of gas, a dangerous proposition against the young and fast Oilers. Goals by Ryan Jones and former Duck Dustin Penner in the game’s final 10 minutes tied the game at 2. Anaheim couldn’t take advantage of a power-play in the final three minutes.

Hiller made 34 saves and Khabibulin made 30 for the Oilers, who had won five straight.

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.

Detroit 4, Ducks 0.

The Ducks’ 41 shots amounted to a whole hill of beans against Jimmy Howard.

Howard’s fifth career shutout, two of which have come against Anaheim, allowed the Red Wings to stay perfect in three games against the Ducks this season. The Wings won’t be back until March 2, by which time Teemu Selanne should have recovered from the groin injury that kept him out of Friday’s game.

In spite of their chances, the Ducks had no answer for goals by Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom, Danny Cleary and Valtteri Filppula.

A split crowd of 15,173 at Honda Center had little to cheer for in a game that saw the Ducks commit 16 giveaways, and fail to screen Howard nearly as much as the Wings screened Hiller.

“We have to eliminate those mistakes we made in our own zone, especially just giving the puck away way too often,” said Hiller, who stopped 25 shots. “They were able to keep us on the outside all night long, and we weren’t really able to get second opportunities.”

More details in tomorrow’s editions. Here are a few notes that won’t make tomorrow’s editions:

Continue reading “Detroit 4, Ducks 0.” »

Selanne eyes return Monday, and other notes.

Teemu Selanne was in a jovial mood Sunday, which usually isn’t news. But with a groin injury keeping the right wing out of the last three games, it was a welcome sight inside Honda Center. The Ducks host the Kings on Monday night in the first meeting between the Southern California rivals this season, and Selanne wants to be on the ice.

“You know what, I’m counting myself in,” he said emphatically.

Selanne traveled with the team to Glendale for Saturday’s game against the Coyotes and took part in the pregame warm-up, then decided against playing. “I was really tight, so I discussed with our trainer, and decided it’s not worth that risk,” he said. “I’d rather miss one more.”

The 40-year-old, who is always ready with a numerical estimate of his health, said the groin was at 70 percent Friday, up to 83 percent Saturday and 90 percent on Sunday. “Tomorrow I’m expecting 95 and that’s good enough,” he said.

“I had this like three or four years ago, so I knew exactly what kind of injury we were talking about,” Selanne added. “If I played one more shift I would probably pull it bad. By saying that, the schedule we have was too much for me. But I hope I’m going to feel better tomorrow, because I really don’t want this to be any bigger problem than it is right now.”

Lubomir Visnovsky wasn’t as confident he would return from the back spasms that kept him out of Saturday’s game.

Continue reading “Selanne eyes return Monday, and other notes.” »

Lupul could suit up tonight – for Syracuse.

Ducks winger Joffrey Lupul has been assigned to the Syracuse Crunch on a long-term injury
conditioning loan.

Under this scenario, Lupul can play up to three
games for the Ducks’ American Hockey League affiliate. Syracuse has a road game tonight against the Toronto Marlies, a home game Sunday against the Hamilton Bulldogs, and a road game next Friday against the Rochester Americans. Lupul, who is not on the Ducks’ 23-man roster, is expected to play tonight.

After the three games, the club can either recall Lupul to the
NHL, or apply for a two-game AHL extension.

The 27-year-old winger hasn’t appeared in an AHL game since the 2004-05 lockout season,  when he was a member of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. Lupul hasn’t played in a game at all since Dec. 8 of last season. Earlier this week, Lupul said playing in a game was the next step for him, and it looks like that step will come tonight.

Lupul on the mend.

Were it not for his seldom dormant Twitter account, Joffrey Lupul could be mistaken for the loneliest hockey player on the planet.

He hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 8, 2009. His well-documented rehab from back surgery, and the mysterious infection that followed, could end up keeping him off the ice for a full year. The bad news is that Lupul is still taking antibiotic medications and will be until the end of the season; more pertinently, there’s still no timetable for his return.

The good news is, Lupul feels ready to go.

“There’s not much more I can test myself out in practice. I’m going full out in practice and I feel good,” Lupul said. “The next step is to play in a game and see where I’m at there. it’s going to take a couple games to get back to 100 percent. I’m ready for that. I know that’s probably how it’s going to be.”

Continue reading “Lupul on the mend.” »

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.

Ducks submit opening-day roster.

The NHL deadline for submitting opening-day rosters has come and gone, and the Ducks’ roster looks just as it was expected to once Josh Green and Maxime Macenauer became the final cuts of training camp. The team placed Joffrey Lupul and Jason Jaffray on the injured-reserve list today and have designated Toni Lydman as an injured non-roster player.

Lydman traveled with the team to Detroit — which came as welcome news following Tuesday’s checkup for the defenseman who has been sidelined with double vision since the start of training camp. No word yet if Lydman could be cleared to play at some point during the season-opening trip to Detroit, Nashville and St. Louis — or if he’ll merely be skating and (hopefully) bonding with his teammates on the road.

Without further ado, then, the roster:

Forwards (16): Beleskey, Blake, Bodie, Carter, Chipchura, Getzlaf, Jaffray (IR), Koivu, Lupul (IR), Marchant, Parros, Perry, Ryan, Selanne, Sexton, Voros.

Defensemen (8): Brookbank, Fowler, Lydman, Mara, Mikkelson, Sbisa, Sutton, Visnovsky.

Goalies (2): Hiller, McElhinney.