Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist as the Ducks skated to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center for their first win of the preseason.
Skating a more veteran lineup than in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Ducks were buoyed by the presence of several regulars. Jonas Hiller started in goal and stopped all 19 shots he faced in 32 minutes. Corey Perry also scored a goal and the line of he, Getzlaf and Matt Beleskey (two assists) combined for five points.
Aaron Voros, Danny Syvret and Jason Blake also scored for the Ducks. Timo Pielmeier finished in goal, stopping 19 of 21.
Cam Fowler, the 12th overall pick in the June draft, assisted on Syvret’s second-period power play tally for his second assist in as many games.
The Ducks won despite being outshot 40-18 but otherwise held the edge on the stat sheet. Luca Sbisa (3) had as many blocked shots as the entire San Jose team and had five hits.
The Sharks, in their first game of the preseason, failed to score on eight power-play opportunities, while the Ducks went 2-for-3.
The 22-year-old forward entered training camp a year ago as a near-lock for the minors. Today, in the Ducks’ preseason opener against the Phoenix Coyotes, he is slotted in as the Ducks’ top-line left wing – a role he can reasonably expect to reprise when the regular season begins, if Bobby Ryan’s switch to center becomes permanent.
Matt Beleskey, who scored 11 goals last season after becoming an NHL regular for the first time in his career, has been rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
Update: Beleskey will earn $666,667 this season, the final year of his entry-level contract, then $1.475 million over the next two seasons: $625,000 in 2011-12 and $850,000 in 2012-13.
The former fourth-round Ducks draft pick (2006) also had seven assists and 18 penalty minutes in 60 games last season. A high-energy player with a dangerous shot, Beleskey became a fixture in the Ducks’ lineup at midseason and finished tied for 10th among NHL rookies in goals scored. He also tied for third among league rookies in game-winning goals (3), seventh in hits (94) and 10th in shots (123). Beleskey finished sixth among team leaders in goal scoring and tied for fourth in game-winners. Some of those numbers were helped by skating at left wing alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry – a role Beleskey might be asked to reprise this season if the Ducks shift Bobby Ryan to a second-line center role, which has been discussed.
In 15 American Hockey League (AHL) games with San Antonio and Toronto last season, Beleskey earned 2-5=7 points with a plus-5 rating and 21 PIM.
The 22-year-old forward can rest a bit easier about his future in Anaheim, as he becomes one of just eight players signed through 2013 (Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Lupul, Visnovsky, Lydman and Hiller are the others). He also becomes a front-runner to win a third- or fourth-line left wing spot from a pack that includes Ryan Carter, Aaron Voros and Stephane Veilleux, who was invited to training camp on a pro tryout contract.
Ryan Carter scored twice, five other players scored one goal – including the 606th of Teemu Selanne’s career – turning Fan Appreciation Night into a one-sided rout in the Ducks’ final game of the season.
Selanne stayed on the ice when the final horn sounded, then led a lap around the ice as the Ducks saluted the fans. Afterwards, he was asked on the ice about his future plans.
“I was always hoping that I wasn’t playing so well, and the decision (to retire) would be easier,” said Selanne, who scored on a second-period power play goal. “I just feel great still. There’s a lot of time to rest now. We have a great team here. Let’s see what happens.”
Selanne, 39, finished his 17th season with 27 goals in 54 games – a ratio of 0.5 goals per game that ranks eighth in the NHL. His 14 power-play goals tied for third in the league. In 1,186 career
Selanne ranks 17th in all-time goals (606), 56th in all-time assists (654)
35th in all-time points (1,260). Continue reading →
The Ducks’ lineup looked different, and younger, in Edmonton than it has all season. In the end, a few familiar faces helped salvage a win at the end of a make-or-break road trip that has mostly served to break the Ducks’ playoff hopes. Continue reading →
Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar scored in the final six minutes of the third period to break a 4-4 tie, and send the Ducks to their third loss in three meetings against their Southern California rivals.
The Ducks looked as good as dead at 1:44 of the third period, when Jack Johnson scored the Kings’ fourth straight unanswered goal to make it 4-1. But Troy Bodie, Matt Beleskey and Ryan Carter put pucks past Jonathan Quick over the next eight minutes to tie the game at 4, and put the Ducks in position to gain at least a point. Continue reading →
Nick Boynton has been assigned to the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, and Matt Beleskey has been recalled from ECHL Bakersfield. Boynton cleared waivers on Tuesday.
Presumably, this leaves the Ducks with six defensemen and 15 forwards for tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center.
Also, minor-leaguers Shawn Weller and and Mark Mitera have been reassigned from Bakersfield to Abbotsford (B.C.) of the AHL. Weller, a forward, was leading the Condors with 18 goals and 46 points and was the team captain. Mitera, a defenseman selected in the first round by the Ducks (19th overall) in 2006, had three goals and 13 points in 36 games.
Teemu Selanne is back at right wing on the Ducks’ second line, joining new left wing Jason Blake with center Saku Koivu. The Ducks and Panthers are just getting underway in Sunrise, Florida.
With Selanne re-joining the team, Matt Beleskey has been re-assigned to ECHL affiliate Bakersfield. Defenseman Nick Boynton was placed on waivers earlier in the day, and can be claimed by any NHL team before 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Playing mostly alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the Ducks’ top line, Beleskey had five goals and nine points in 34 games this season for the Ducks. His five goals in January tied for second among all NHL rookies.
A fourth-round draft pick of the Ducks in 2006, Beleskey has never appeared below the AHL level. In 15 AHL games this season, split between San Antonio and Toronto, Beleskey had two goals and seven points.
The Ducks played the San Jose Sharks as tough as anyone has recently — and still lost to kick off their six-game road trip at HP Pavilion. Matt Beleskey scored the Ducks’ lone goal, and Jonas Hiller stopped 22 of 24 in the loss.
With the game still scoreless entering the second period, a longMarc-Eduoard Vlasicslapshot created by a faceoff win, and a deflection in the slot by a fast-breaking Rob Blake, gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
Beleskey notched his fifth goal of the season at 1:15 of the third period to bring the Ducks within 2-1, taking a slick backhand pass from Kyle Chipchura and blasting a shot past Evgeni Nabokov in the slot. All of Beleskey’s goals have come in the month of January, and his five goals this month lead NHL rookies.
But the Ducks could not convert a pair of late power plays, including a tripping penalty that put Joe Thornton in the box for two minutes with 3:10 left in the game. Hiller was pulled for an extra attacker late in the 5-on-4, giving the Ducks six men on the ice for nearly 90 seconds to end the game.
Though they were able to create shots, none fooled Nabokov, and longtime Duck killer Patrick Marleau sealed the Sharks’ win by scoring into an empty net with 5.5 seconds left.