Long Beach native Etem, Palmieri on first WJC roster.

Ducks prospects Emerson Etem and Kyle Palmieri were among 29 players named to the preliminary U.S. National Junior Team roster Tuesday.

Etem, a Long Beach native, leads the Western Hockey League with four short-handed goals. He has 18 goals (eighth in the league) and 31 points in 28 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers, as well as a team-high plus-21 rating. The 19-year-old was drafted 29th overall by the Ducks in the most recent Entry Draft. Etem led all WHL rookies in 2009-10 with 37 goals.

Palmieri represented Team USA at last year’s WJCs, too. He made the leap from the University of Notre Dame to the professional ranks this season and made his NHL debut Nov. 3. The 19-year-old right wing scored his first goal that night for the Ducks but was returned to Syracuse of the American Hockey League after going scoreless in his next nine games. Palmieri has nine goals and 13 points in 17 games for the Crunch this season.

Both Etem and Palmieri were drafted with picks the Ducks acquired via the Chris Pronger trade.

The 2011 U.S.
National Junior Team will compete at the IIHF World Junior Championship from Dec. 26, 2010 to January 5,
2011, in Buffalo and Niagara, NY.

Crunch on bad end of blowout.

It was the only game in the American Hockey League on Monday, but the Syracuse Crunch probably preferred that no one watched.

The Ducks’ top affiliate lost 10-3 to the Charlotte Checkers after falling behind 9-1 after two periods. According to the Syracuse Post-Dispatch, Charlotte’s eight-goal second period was the most in an AHL period since Providence scored a league-record 10 in the first – also vs. the Crunch – on Nov. 25, 1998. During the middle period Charlotte scored twice in a span of 21 seconds, three goals in 1:07, four in 1:41, five in 2:41, six in 3:39, seven in 7:15, and eight in a span of 13:44.

Timo Pielmeier started in goal before giving way to Jean-Phillippe Levasseur in the fateful second period. Levasseur provided no relief, allowing goals on both shots he faced, before being pulled in favor of Pielmeier, who finished with 33 saves on 41 shots.

Dan Sexton played his first game back in Syracuse since returning from Anaheim. Kyle Palmieri, Stefan Chaput and San Jacinto native Jake Newton scored goals for the Crunch.

Syracuse has won two of its last 10 games, falling to 8-12-1-3 on the season.

Sexton, McMillan up; Palmieri down.

Dan Sexton and Brandon McMillan have been recalled from the Syracuse Crunch, and Kyle Palmieri is heading back to the Ducks’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Sexton played the first seven games of the season in Anaheim and went scoreless, then missed the next seven games with a broken nose. In four games with the Crunch, the right wing had two goals and five points.

McMillan gets his first NHL call-up after scoring four goals and six points in 16 games at Syracuse. He’s had an eventful year that included signing his entry-level contract in May, and a strong World Junior Championships for silver-medal-winning Team Canada in January.

Palmieri scored a goal in his NHL debut Nov. 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but was held without a point in the next nine games.

The Ducks host the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Honda Center.

Columbus 4, Ducks 3.

When is 50 shots not enough?

Apparently Friday, when Columbus goaltender Steve Mason stymied the Ducks’ offensive onslaught in a 4-3 Blue Jackets win — a game that featured more near-misses than a pistol in the hand of a James Bond villain.

The Ducks saved their best for a third period in which they outshot Columbus 25-3 — reminiscent of Wednesday’s 2-1 loss in Minnesota that saw the Ducks outshoot the Wild 16-2 in the third. Like Niklas Backstrom, Mason was living large in the final period, allowing only a Corey Perry goal at 7:22 to bring the Ducks within 4-3.

Bobby Ryan — on his first career short-handed goal — and Saku Koivu also scored for the Ducks, who have now lost four straight on the heels of a six-game winning streak. Jonas Hiller stopped 25 shots, allowing goals to Rick Nash, Chris Clark, Jakub Voracek and Steve Commodore.

More details in tomorrow’s editions. Here are a few more notes:

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Chicago 3, Ducks 2, OT.

In the span of two days in Chicago, Jonas Hiller went from a hospital to helping the Ducks salvage a point in the standings.

Hiller, who received four sutures to close a cut above his eye sustained in practice Saturday, made 40 saves in the overtime loss to the Blackhawks. He had little chance on Viktor Stalberg’s re-direction of a Duncan Keith shot with 28 seconds left in overtime.

Corey Perry scored both goals for the Ducks (10-7-2), who saw their six-game winning streak end. Both teams had plenty of missed chances in an up-and-down game, and Blackhawks backup Corey Crawford had some big saves among his 24.

“They took it to us in the second and third (periods,” Perry said. “Hillsie stood tall in there for those shots he had to face. Overall we didn’t feel like we played the way we feel we wanted to, but we got a point.”

Patrick Kane took advantage of a lively puck off the end boards to put Chicago up 1-0 at 3:37 of the opening period. Perry answered with an unassisted goal less than a minute later. Jason Blake created the chance on the forecheck by pressuring Keith from behind; the reigning Norris Trophy winner coughed the puck up to Perry, who barely had to skate before firing in a wrister at 4:34.

A power-play goal by Marian Hossa at 11:24 of the middle period restored Chicago’s lead, and ended a streak of 17 straight penalties killed by the Ducks.

Randy Carlyle shook up the lines for the third period, but that barely factored into Perry’s equalizer at 3:36 of the third period. Perry created the chance by himself, gaining the blue line up the left wing, turning sharply to cut across the offensive zone, then faking his way around Niklas Hjalmarsson in the right circle and firing a wrister into the far side of the net past Crawford.

For Perry, the goals were his team-leading seventh and eighth of the season.

A few more notes:

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Sbisa up; Syvret, Beleskey, Sexton down.

In a busy day of transactions for the Ducks, defenseman Luca Sbisa is coming back from Syracuse, while defenseman Danny Syvret and forwards Matt Beleskey and Dan Sexton were assigned to the Crunch.

It’s no surprise that the Ducks were looking for reinforcements after a grueling overtime win Tuesday night in San Jose. After starting the season slowly in Anaheim, Sbisa had rediscovered his scoring touch in eight AHL games, posting two goals, nine points and a plus-2 rating for the Crunch. Syvret had a goal and an assist in six games for the Ducks, but had been a healthy scratch the last four games.

Sexton (who missed seven games with a broken nose) and Beleskey (who missed six games with a concussion) have been deemed healthy to play – just not in Anaheim. Neither player had scored a goal this season, and prospects Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri were recalled for what has been a mostly successfully NHL audition in the meantime.

Their audition figures to continue tonight at Honda Center against the New York Islanders.

The 23-year-old Sexton hasn’t appeared in an AHL game since last season’s Calder Cup playoffs, when he appeared in six games for the Manitoba Moose. In 41 games with the Ducks last season with the Ducks, the right wing had nine goals and 19 points.

Beleskey appeared in just 15 AHL games at the beginning of last season prior to being recalled to Anaheim, where he had 11 goals and 18 points in 60 games last season. The 22-year-old winger was rewarded with a two-year contract extension in training camp, and with regular playing time alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in the regular season.

Ducks 5, Nashville 4.

After a back-and-forth game that saw the Ducks squander four 1-goal leads, Bobby Ryan hit Paul Mara streaking backdoor with 1.7 seconds left in the third period to secure a wild victory before 13,520 at Honda Center.

It was a fitting ending to a game that saw almost everyone get involved in the scoring, on a night when the Ducks needed all the help they could get. Mara was a most surprising source for the game-winner. He had not scored a goal since a playoff game on April 22, 2009 (a 59-game drought) and had not scored in the regular season since Feb. 11, 2009 (a 78-game drought).

“It used to be my game, but not any more,” Mara said. “I just go out there, try to play strong defense, make the correct plays, and every once in a while try to chip in with offense.”

“Give credit to my trainer there, Sluggo. He put a new pair of gloves in my stall and made me use them.”

Saku Koivu scored two goals, giving him 700 points in his career, and Teemu Selanne and Lubomir Visnovsky scored once.

More in tomorrow’s editions. Here are a few notes that didn’t make the paper:
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Down on the farm, some Ducklings are hatching.

The Syracuse Crunch can loosely be broken down into two
groups of players: Those who are still developing, and those you might see in
Anaheim this season.

Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri cut to the front of the
promotion line with strong performances last week. By Wednesday they were in
Ducks uniforms, playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That might have been ahead of the curve for both, who are
just beginning their first full season in professional hockey. Even though
Ducks fans have been hearing about Bonino and Palmieri for more than a year, if
anything they have been fast-tracked to the NHL.

“In baseball, most of the top prospects get put into
Single-A and work their way up,” said David McNab, the Ducks’ senior vice
president of hockey operations. “It doesn’t appear that they draft a player and
immediately stick them in Triple A. that’s what the American League is:
Triple-A baseball. It’s a tough league. There’s a lot of veteran hockey players
in the American Hockey League who are great players. It takes time.”

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Ducks 3, Tampa Bay 2, OT.

Kyle Palmieri’s first NHL goal, in his first NHL game, came with 4:20 left in the third period of a game the Ducks were trailing 2-1. Ryan Getzlaf showed up on the scoresheet with 2:07 left in overtime.

Clutch scoring and tight defense against the NHL’s highest-scoring team almost seemed to much to ask from the Ducks, but it was exactly what the announced crowd of 13,034 was treated to Wednesday.
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