Ducks at the World Championships, Day 2.

Only one current Ducks player took the ice Saturday in Slovakia: Cam Fowler played 14:38 and collected an assist in the United States’ 5-1 win over Austria. It was the first game of the tournament for the Americans.

Swiss defenseman Luca Sbisa, the other Anaheim participant, was held scoreless Friday night in his team’s 1-0 win over France.

Fowler and Sbisa are the only Ducks players taking part in the tournament. Typically the IIHF World Championships are a bigger deal in Europe than North America, where those whole Stanley Cup playoffs are going on. Check out the list of players who suited up for the U.S. and you’ll see why the NHL playoffs are a more compelling draw.

Slovakia native Lubomir Visnovsky said he would like to take part in the tournament on his home soil, but only if his balky shoulder joints allow it. He didn’t dress in the Slovaks’ 3-1 win over Slovenia Friday night.

Former Ducks taking part in the tournament include Ryan Shannon and Mike Brown (U.S.), Evgeny Artyukhin (Russia), and Petteri Nokelainen (Finland).

Waiver-wire wanderings.

Tuesday was a deadline of sorts for NHL teams to part amicably with players who are under contract beyond Thursday, the beginning of the free-agent period.

Several players were placed on waivers, including the Ducks’ Nathan Oystrick. He was joined on the waiver wire by former Ducks forward Petteri Nokelainen (now in Phoenix), former Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo (Ottawa), along with D Jim Vandermeer (Phoenix), RW Ales Kotalik (Calgary) and D Ville Koistinen (Florida).

If they go unclaimed, they could be bought out of their
contracts and become unrestricted free agents Thursday, when the
free-agency period opens at 9 a.m.

Oystrick, acquired at midseason from the Atlanta Thrashers in the Evgeny Artyukhin deal, was the lone Duck placed on waivers. The 27-year-old appeared in three games for the Ducks in April, going scoreless, and 43 with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.

Petteri Nokelainen traded to Phoenix.

Petteri Nokelainen has been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for a conditional sixth-round draft pick. The 24-year-old center was down to fifth on the Ducks’ depth chart at center, having been a healthy scratch in six of eight games before the Olympic break.

In 50 games, he had four goals and 11 points, occasionally filling in on the penalty kill and power play.

It’s the fifth, and presumably final, trade for Murray on a busy deadline day.

Joining the Ducks are defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky and Aaron Ward, goaltenders Curtis McElhinney and
Joey MacDonald, and a conditional sixth-round draft pick. Leaving are defenseman Ryan Whitney, Justin Pogge, Vesa
Toskala, fourth- and sixth-round draft picks in 2010, and a
seventh-round choice in 2011.

Earlier in the week, forward Evgeny Artyukhin, defenseman Nick Boynton and prospect Steven Kampfer were traded, netting a pair of draft picks in return.

Flames 3, Ducks 1.

Troy Bodie’s first-period deflection of a Scott Niedermayer shot was all the Ducks would get against a stingy Flames defense.

Jonas Hiller made 35 saves but allowed a pair of goals to Jarome Iginla in the second period — the first on a one-timer and the second on a breakaway tip-in, to break a 1-1 tie.

The Ducks lost valuable ground in the Western Conference standings. Though not a must-win situation, Anaheim could have matched Calgary with 67 points and kept pace with Dallas and Detroit, who both won Saturday. Instead, they fell four points back of the eighth spot and sit in 10th place in the west with 20 games left in the regular season.

Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with a sprained ankle, forcing Randy Carlyle to juggle his lines. Petteri Nokelainen, Ryan Carter and mostly Saku Koivu alternated in and out of the top-two center positions.

The Ducks travel to Edmonton to play the Oilers at 4 p.m. Sunday, their final game before the Olympic break.

Ducks 3, Nashville 2.

Teemu Selanne rejoined the lineup and the Ducks skated away with their first road victory since Dec. 22.

Selanne, Matt Beleskey and Ryan Getzlaf scored goals, with Getzlaf’s long wrister at 11:26 of the second period — right after he gloved down an errant Preds pass along the glass — proving to be the game-winner.

It was the third NHL goal for Beleskey, who remained at left wing with Getzlaf and right wing Corey Perry. He’s scored one in each of the last three games. Selanne shifted to a line with left wing Mike Brown and center Petteri Nokelainen, and was credited for tipping in a Nokelainen shot for the Ducks’ first goal.

Patric Hornqvist and Martin Erat added goals in the third period, but Jonas Hiller hung on to make 25 saves.

The Ducks travel to Chicago for a 4 p.m. Sunday game.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Chicago 5, Ducks 2.

The Ducks had to do all the little things — and all the big things — to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, owners of the Western Conference’s best record, on the road Sunday.

After hanging on for 26 scoreless minutes, both areas of the game caught up with the Ducks.

“We had a couple opportunities on the power play,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “In games like this, that can make a world of difference. We had our fair share of chances. We had lots of 2-on-1s, we got scoring opportunities, but we hit posts or their goaltender made some big stops.”

“We didn’t do enough to force ’em. A couple 2-on-1s, we just skated right in. We didn’t change the angle of the puck.”

Petteri Nokelainen scored twice in less than two minutes of the third period to salvage a more respectable final score. But Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi was otherwise invincible against the Ducks, stopping 22 of 24.

Blackhawks forwards Kris Versteeg and Troy Brouwer scored on Jean-Sebastien Giguere (23 saves) to put Chicago up 2-0 going into the final period. Then Marian Hossa did the biggest damage early in the third, scoring at even strength at 1:14, and again on a power play at 3:41, to effectively put the game away.

“I thought we did come out and play sort of the type of game we have to play in here … we were skating, we were making simple plays,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said. “We had a couple chances; if those go in it’s a different game. They capitalized on theirs and it started to pile on at the end. It’s gone this way for us a fair number of times before this year.”

Sheldon Brookbank and Evgeny Artyukhin collected the assists on both goals for the Ducks (16-19-7), who will try to shake a three-game losing streak against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday in Anaheim.

Nashville 3, Ducks 1.

Two Predators goals in the final 10 minutes doomed the Ducks, who played without Ryan Getzlaf for the third straight game, and lost their second in a row.

Mike Brown scored the lone goal for the Ducks at 7:45 of the first period, and Jonas Hiller stopped 33 of 35. But he was left to dry on the Preds’ second goal, when Jason Arnott was given plenty of space to complete an odd-man rush at 10:11 of the third period, snapping a shot into the top of the net to make it 2-1.

The Ducks(16-18-7) also failed to gain ground on another Western Conference opponent, while falling further back of the final playoff spot. Thanks to a Kings win over the Washington Capitals earlier Saturday, the Ducks sit 12 points out of eighth place. They’ll get another chance to make up ground Sunday, when they face the Central-leading Blackhawks in Chicago.

A scratch for most of December, Evgeny Artyukhin played his second consecutive game and picked up an assist. So did Petteri Nokelainen, as Anaheim’s fourth line combined for its only goal.

Geztlaf is accompanying the Ducks on their current three-game road trip but hasn’t played as he recovers from a lacerated leg.

Minutes from Tuesday’s meeting.

On a night when Ryan Getzlaf missed his first game of the season — along with injured forwards Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul — Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle had his work cut out for him Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Divvying up the time on ice was a challenge, but the end result was a 4-2 victory.

Continue reading “Minutes from Tuesday’s meeting.” »

Chipchura finding his spot.

Kyle Chipchura might be best off centering either the third or the fourth line in the Ducks’ lineup. The jury’s still out. At
least in Anaheim, unlike Montreal, the jury consists of only one coach, Randy

“It’s not like everybody you run into on the street is
trying to coach and has something to say,” Chipchura said Tuesday. “In that
sense, the personal pressure is lower.”

Continue reading “Chipchura finding his spot.” »