By Adam Brady
You can only gauge so much from the preseason, but the Ducks have to be happy with the way they played in their first game action since last spring.
On the strength of three goals in the first three minutes (on their first three shots of the game), and four in the first period overall, Anaheim rolled to a 6-2 beating of the Phoenix Coyotes in the Ducks’ preseason opener at Honda Center. Six different Ducks found the net, while Andrew Cogliano had three assists.
The Coyotes were one night removed from sweeping the Kings in two split-squad games last night – one in Phoenix and one in LA.
Teemu Selanne, the 43-year-old who announced weeks ago this would be his final NHL season, got the Ducks on the board just 48 seconds into the game. Selanne took a pass from new Duck Jakob Silfverberg (who came over in the Bobby Ryan trade with Ottawa) and banged it home to make it 1-0. Soon afterward, young Sami Vatanen slung a shot from the left circle that beat embattled goalie Mark Visentin.
Another 1:50 later, with the Ducks shorthanded, offseason acquisition Nolan Yonkman hammered a shot from the point that beat Visentin top shelf. Daniel Winnik added the fourth of the period, one-handing in a rebound off an Andrew Cogliano shot on the rush.
Phoenix got one back 5:13 into the second courtesy of Guillaume Latendresse, but Anaheim struck back with two more before the period was over. Hamput Lindholm connected on a point shot that sailed through traffic midway through the period, and Emerson Etem punched in a loose puck in the crease with 1:57 remaining.
Phoenix forward Chris Brown had the only goal of the third period a snipe from the right wing that beat goalie Frederik Andersen.
Jonas Hiller had 12 saves before giving way in the third period to Andersen, who stopped eight of nine.
The Ducks will likely have a decidedly different lineup tomorrow night when they turn around and face the rival Kings at home.
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