Phoenix 7, Ducks 4.

The first game of the NHL preseason is a haphazard ritual, its beauty comparable to gargling the morning breath out of one’s mouth at the crack of dawn, its timing and coordination no better than of a pack of hyenas attempting to divide a carcass of raw meat.

There is no need here to romanticize the hockey-viewing experience of 12,544 announced spectators at Honda Center — it was pretty ugly — but there were a few takeaways.

First, the quick and dirty game synopsis:

Igor Bobkov played roughly the first 30 minutes and John Gibson played the last 30. It was the first NHL game action of any sort for either goalie (Bobkov was at last year’s NHL camp and did not appear in an exhibition game), but the seven goals couldn’t totally be pinned on them. “We’ve got to work on defensive-zone coverage. That’s what we have to work on, obviously,” head coach Randy Carlyle said.

Sean Zimmerman, Kyle Palmieri, Andrew Cogliano and Nate Guenin scored goals for the Ducks, who never led in the game. The offensive effort wasn’t much to blink at, either.

“We just seemed to be slapping the puck around in too many situations,” Carlyle said. “From our standpoint it’s an evaluation game.”

On with the evaluating then …
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Ducks extend minor-league defenseman Zimmerman.

As first spotted on capgeek.com, the Ducks extended the contract of minor-league defenseman Sean Zimmerman on a one-year, two-way deal.

Zimmerman, who turned 24 in May, finished last season in Syracuse after arriving in the trade that brought enforcer Brian McGrattan to Anaheim from Boston for prospects Stefan Chaput and David Laliberte.

Zimmerman had no goals and three assists in 21 games with the Crunch, his third American Hockey League stop last season. He will make $525,000 in the NHL and $75,000 in the AHL.

Ducks make minor swap with Bruins. Update.

As first reported by CSNNE.com, the Ducks have acquired enforcer Brian McGrattan from the Boston Bruins. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos wrote on his Twitter account Sunday that the Ducks will also receive minor-league defenseman Sean Zimmerman in exchange for minor-league forwards David Laliberte and Stefan Chaput.

Update: The team confirmed the trade after the Ducks’ 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

McGrattan has the most NHL experience among the four players involved. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound forward has 395 penalty minutes in 182 NHL games for the Senators, Coyotes and Flames. He’s spent the entire season with the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate, recording four goals, five points and 97 penalty minutes in 39 games. McGrattan has never appeared in an NHL playoff game.

Zimmerman, 23, has four assists and no goals in 30 games between Providence and Rochester.

Both players’ contracts expire at the end of this season, according to CapGeek.com.

Laliberte had five goals and nine points in 29 games for Syracuse, the Ducks’ AHL affiliate. Chaput had three goals and seven points in 27 games.

Chaput was originally acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in the Ryan Carter trade. Laliberte was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in the Danny Syvret trade.