First look at Brad Winchester.

Brad Winchester was on Bob Murray’s radar last summer, but it doesn’t take an electronic device to spot the 6-foot-5, 230-pound forward.

Winchester, who arrived Monday from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a third-round 2012 draft pick, projects primarily as a bottom-six winger. Not surprisingly, he was skating at left wing on a line with Kyle Chipchura and George Parros on the same morning he arrived in Anaheim.

But the Madison, Wisconsin, native is more than strictly an energy-line tough guy.

“He’s been used in front of the net on the power play in St. Louis a little bit,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We think that he’s a guy who can move up and down on our left side, if we feel that there’s a necessity to have a bigger body with (Ryan) Getzlaf and (Corey) Perry.”

In addition to his 86 penalty minutes and eight major penalties this season, Winchester has nine goals in 57 games. He also has a 13-goal season under his belt in 2008-09.

“Part of the reasoning with the acquisition of the player, is he’s been able to provide a level of offense … he can play on the third line, fourth line, move up on your power play, play a front of the net position,” Carlyle said. “If you get players who can score 10-plus goals in that position, you’d like to utilize that.”
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Ducks send Lapierre to Vancouver. Update.

Maxim Lapierre has been dealt to the Vancouver Canucks for minor-league center Joel Perrault and a third-round draft pick in 2012.

Update: The Ducks have confirmed the deal and will also send AHL center MacGregor Sharp to Vancouver.

Lapierre started out as the Ducks’ third-line center after he was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Brett Festerling and a fifth-round draft pick in 2012. He had seen his ice time reduced in recent weeks, however, and was deemed the odd man out after the acquisition of Brad Winchester from St. Louis earlier in the day.

Lapierre had three assists, no goals and nine penalty minutes in 21 games for the Ducks.

Perrault, 27, is currently playing for the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. He has three goals and 18 points in 26 games this season. A former Ducks draft pick (fifth round, 2001), Perrault has 12 goals and 26 points in 96 NHL games for the Coyotes, Blues and Canucks.

Ducks 4, Vancouver 3.

Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks didn’t ease into anything in Vancouver.

The captain played 21:45 in his first game since Dec. 28, and the Ducks used a big lead to help hold off the Canucks. Getzlaf’s only point was this beautiful assist on Bobby Ryan’s first goal of the game, which gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead at 4:12 of the second period.

He also made an impact on Dan Hamhuis, planting the defenseman dangerously into the end boards on this shoulder-on-shoulder check. There’s already a debate raging over whether or not it was a clean hit.

Ryan had two goals, Jason Blake and Brandon McMillan had the others, and Curtis McElhinney made 16 of his 36 saves in the final period.

A few more notes:
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Maxim Lapierre, Bob Murray comments on Ray Emery.

This isn’t the only demerit in the Ray Emery file, but it’s among the most relevant to the Ducks:

That incident took place Feb. 10, 2007, almost four years to the day before Emery is set to join the Ducks organization – presuming the goalie clears waivers tomorrow and is assigned to AHL affiliate Syracuse.

Emery was playing for Ottawa at the time, and Ducks center Maxim Lapierre was a rookie with the Montreal Canadiens. The two might not see each other in the same dressing room until late in the season – if Emery gets an NHL call-up at all. Still, it was worth asking Lapierre how he felt about possibly being teammates with Emery.
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The skinny on Ray Emery.

Ray Emery’s agent confirmed that the Ducks are one of “three or four” teams with interest in the goaltender, who is attempting to come back from a potentially career-threatening hip injury.

“I’ve had really good discussions with the Ducks,” J.P. Barry said Thursday. “I’ve been reaching out to teams because I feel that Ray’s ready.”

Emery has not played since his last game with the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 1, 2010. He was shut down for the season after being diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a condition in which bone cells die due to a lack of blood supply. The 28-year-old goalie underwent surgery to graft a bone from his lower leg into his hip and has been aggressively rehabilitating since.

Just how ready is Emery to return?

“I think if we put Ray on a team Monday, he could play Friday,” Barry said.

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San Jose 4, Ducks 3.

The first 11 minutes, 15 seconds of hockey at Honda Center rendered the next 48:45 moot. Almost.

At least, it made for fairly easy writing on deadline. Seeing Jonas Hiller allow three goals in that early span, before heading to the bench, was a rare sight. Just as rare were the nature of the goals – each a little less excusable than the one before. Hiller said he didn’t see Jason Demers’ shot from just inside the blue line until it was in the back of the net. A few seconds later, Hiller was on the bench, and the Western Conference standings were guaranteed to be a gnarled mess.

The Sharks (27-19-6) and Ducks (28-21-4) each have 60 points now, cosmetically tied for fifth place in the standings but San Jose has the advantage of having one game in hand. Clearly, playing the Phoenix Coyotes the night before was a tremendous advantage, as the Sharks’ quick start was too much for Hiller and the Ducks.

“I think when they scored on the first shift it should have been a wake-up call,” said Bobby Ryan, who had one of the Ducks’ three goals. “We let them build off it. I don’t think you can discredit Jonas. He stood in there and some of the goals were tough to see, especially the third one. You don’t see it much.”

Cam Fowler and Joffrey Lupul also scored goals, with Lupul netting his first since Dec. 28. Curtis McElhinney made 17 saves – 10 more than Hiller – allowing only a power-play putback by Ryane Clowe at 15:39 of the second period.

More details in tomorrow’s editions. A few more notes:
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Nashville 4, Ducks 1.

With 52 seconds left in the game and a puck having just crossed into an empty Ducks net, Corey Perry slammed his stick over his own goal frame, the logical reaction to a typical Nashville Predators victory.

Wednesday’s was one of those. The Ducks outshot their opponent 41-24 but had only a Saku Koivu goal – not a thing of beauty in its own right – to show for it.

The Preds never trailed in ending Anaheim’s three-game winning streak, taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Jerred Smithson and Patric Hornqvist. After Koivu’s goal halved the Ducks’ deficit at 11:46 of the third, empty-net goals by Sergei Kostitsyn and Shea Weber provided the final score.

“The puck was doing funny things for us,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle told reporters after the game, “and in some of the situations they beat us for 1-on-1 battles with the puck. That was really the telltale story of the game, where they won more little puck battles 1-on-1 where we should have come up with the puck.”

Nashville won its third straight game by the same score, though Anaheim played better than a three-goal difference would indicate. A few of Pekka Rinne’s 40 saves were extraordinary; he also had help from a goal frame that robbed Matt Beleskey and Lubomir Visnovsky in the third period.

Second-chance shots were few and far between, part of Nashville’s blue-collar M.O. for as long as the team has existed.

Even though he didn’t score, Maxim Lapierre had one of the Ducks’ better efforts in his first game since arriving from Montreal. Playing 15:46 while centering the first and third lines, Lapierre put four shots on goal and was one of the few black-clad players consistently charging on net.

Another player making his 2011 debut, Dan Sexton, had the primary assist on Koivu’s goal. He started the game on a third line with Lapierre and Joffrey Lupul and ended it on the second line with Koivu and Selanne.

It was one of those efforts that probably gets a team more than one goal on most nights, but didn’t Wednesday. These things happen.

A few more notes:

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Getzlaf out 4-6 weeks.

Ryan Getzlaf will miss four to six weeks, but won’t need surgery to repair the non-displaced nasal sinus fractures he suffered Dec. 28.

That was the timetable put forth after Getzlaf had a CT scan performed this week. It came as good news to the Ducks’ captain, who will be out until the second week of February at the latest.

“It was pretty scary for the first few days after the first CT scan,” Getzlaf told reporters Wednesday, sporting a hockey puck-sized scar between his eyebrows. “We weren’t really sure what exactly was wrong. There were a lot of different fractures and stuff going on up there. We went through another, more invasive one two days ago and looked at it yesterday with the doctor, and everything was good. It was what we wanted to hear. There are some fractures up there that definitely need to be healed but they’re nowhere near my eyes or my brain, so it’s definitely a positive thing from yesterday.”

Including the game in which he was injured, a 3-1 road win against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Ducks are 3-0 without Getzlaf. Corey Perry has maintained his All-Star caliber season without his usual center, notching a goal and two assists in the last three games, and may need to keep up his point-per-game pace. Bobby Ryan’s switch to center could last the duration of Getzlaf’s injury and new acquisition Maxim Lapierre will be leaned on to provide depth down the middle.

The Ducks host the Nashville Predators at 7 p.m. tonight.

Sexton up, Lapierre receives his passport, etc.

Updating an earlier item, the Ducks officially announced that Dan Sexton has been recalled from AHL affiliate Syracuse. Sexton hasn’t been with the Ducks since Dec. 18. In the meantime, he’s scored four goals and nine points in eight AHL games.

Sexton and center Maxim Lapierre might both play their first NHL games of 2011, after Lapierre received his American work visa and became eligible to play tomorrow night against Nashville.

The team is still awaiting word on Ryan Getzlaf to determine an exact timetable for his recovery from multiple nasal sinus fractures. Count on him missing a third game since he suffered the injury a week ago in Glendale.

Randy Carlyle told reporters after Tuesday’s practice that Jason Blake (shoulder) is a possibility to play tomorrow. If he can go, the Ducks have plenty of options at forward.

Ducks 2, Chicago 1.

Jonas Hiller admitted to getting a little lucky at the end.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Hiller said after a memorable 39-save performance, including a perfect 19-save third period.

Jack Skille and Viktor Stalberg did their best to thwart perfection, but were both victims of a great Honda Center Heist – Skille’s shot from a few feet out was gloved down at the goal line (it went to video review in Toronto; judge for yourself here), and Stalberg’s shot deflected off Hiller’s glove and over the net.

That was as close as Chicago came to tying the game after early goals by Andreas Lilja (his first as a Duck) and Corey Perry stood. That is, unless you consider the scary moment in the second period when Andy Sutton’s stick accidentally got through the goalie’s mask and clipped his eyebrow. “I’m glad nothing happened,” Hiller said in the understatement of the evening.

More details in tomorrow’s editions. A few more notes …
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