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.
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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:

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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.

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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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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