Ducks lose to Queens 4-2 in preseason opener
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim lost to the Los Angeles Queens on Saturday night 4-2 in the preseason opener for both teams. The Ducks line-up featured many regulars and new faces as Sergei Fedorov, Teemu Selanne, Sandis Ozolinsh, Joffrey Lupul, Rob Niedermayer, Ruslan Salei and Jason Marshall all suited up. Not in action were Scott Niedermayer, Keith Carney, J.S. Giguere, Petr Sykora and Samuel Pahlsson.
The Ducks scored first when Jason Marshall scored a power play goal. The Ducks were on the power play a lot in the first period as the Queens were very aggresive and made a lot of dumb plays as a result. 1-0 Anaheim and things looked good.
Soon afterwards, though, Ken Belanger challenged Jason Marshall to a fight. Marshall looked reluctant but finally dropped the gloves. Before they had hit the ice, Belanger had attacked and knocked Marshall to the ice. Marshall didn't get up and the Queens fans, being classy as always, cheered like mad. Belanger was ejected from the game and the Mighty Ducks were given a nine minute power play. When Marshall did get up he was dripping blood from his face and appeared woozy. He left the ice and did not return. Reports say he got four stitches under his right eye.
Before Belanger left the ice, he pulled another classy move and skated past the Ducks bench to taunt them. Todd Fedoruk did everything but leap over the boards and send him to the IR and it was clear that he takes his job as bodyguard VERY seriously. I look forward to him keeping the peace on the ice often this season, and I can see why Burke and Carlyle have him on the same line as Fedorov and Selanne.
Just after the nine minute power play had expired the Ducks scored again, this time on a gorgeous move by rookie Corey Perry. The Ducks were up 2-0 and both goals came against the Queens #1 goalie Mathieu Garon.
It was 2-0 after the first period and the second was the exact opposite of the first. Now it was the Ducks that made a litany of dumb plays that landed them in the penalty box and the Queens capitalized. They took a3-2 lead into the second intermission.
In the third we finally got some 5-on-5 time, but the Ducks were unable to score. Ilya Bryzgalov went far to the right of his net to play the puck off the glass but the Queens got the puck and Craig Conroy scored an empty net goal to cement the win. The final was 4-2.
Despite the fact that the game was over, they still had a shootout. The Queens won that 3-2.
Overall, it was a very entertaining game. Kip Brennan is a skilled fighter who is very entertaining. Jonathan Hedstrom looks very good on the penalty kill as he skates very hard and forechecks extremely well. Rob Niedermayer's passing looks great, and Vitaly Vishnevski looks to be playing with a little bit more of an edge as well.
Most of the penalties, and there were 38 total, were by guys that will start the season in Portland. Zenon Konopka, Shane O'Brien, Ryan Getzlaf, Mikkelson...these are the guys that were penalized. Ruslan Salei, Sandis Ozolinsh, Vitali Vishnevski, Fedorov, Selanne, Rob Niedermayer...I don't remember any penalties called against them though I have not checked the box score to confirm that.
The Ducks are playing more up-tempo and aggressively on offense, now to see if that style translates into wins.