By Kyle Shohara
Once again, the team donning black jerseys came out victorious in the Ducks’ intrasquad scrimmage held at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE. This time, it was Group B wearing the dark colored sweaters, and Team A wearing white.
Propelled by Daniel Winnik’s two goals and strong performances from the Silfverberg-Bonino-Selanne and Maroon-Winnik-Smith-Pelly lines, Team Black rolled to a 6-1 victory over Team White in front of another packed house at the team’s practice facility.
New Duck Jakob Silfverberg got the game’s scoring underway, converting on a rebound chance in front of goaltender Jonas Hiller. It was Silfverberg’s second goal in as many scrimmages, both coming off rebound chances. Shortly after, Devante Smith-Pelly buried a rebound to quickly give Team Black a 2-0 lead. After Patrick Maroon’s goal was disallowed, Daniel Winnik increased Black’s lead to 3-0 on a shot that went top-shelf on Hiller to close out the period.
Austin Carroll got Team White on the board in the second period, but Winnik responded with a power-play goal, his second tally of the contest. Maroon potted his second goal of the game - and the fifth for his line - to increase Black’s lead to 5-1. Defenseman Kevin Gagne iced the game with a shot that beat Etienne Marcoux from the top of the circle, giving Team Black a 6-1 lead.
“I thought we played really well as a line,” said Winnik, who’s been centering his line throughout training camp. “We’re all big bodies and when we get it down low, it’s tough to get it off of us.”
Winnik said he hasn’t played the center position on a regular basis since his first professional season in San Antonio of the American Hockey League, but head coach Bruce Boudreau wants to keep him there through the preseason.
“He’s going to stay there for a while,” Boudreau said. “We wanted to try this last year, but there was just never a break, and we didn’t want to throw him into the fire.
“The upside of it is many-fold. If he goes back to wing, we know now, in a pinch, he can play center. Secondly, depth at center is [as tough a position] to add depth as you can get. It just gives you better balance all around.”
Boudreau wouldn’t reveal his lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener against Phoenix (7 p.m., Honda Center), but said “we’ve got the first three games mapped out, in a perfect world, and all seven games mapped out for the goalies.”
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