By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM - A fluky goal and a goalie standing on his head proved too much for the Ducks to overcome tonight against Colorado at Honda Center.
Colorado got 37 saves from Semyon Varlamov and got the eventual game-winner on a strange third period goal on their way to a 2-1 preseason victory over Anaheim. The Ducks' only goal was a breakaway strike from Kyle Palmieri early in the second.
About 8 1/2 minutes into the third, as the Ducks were trying to clear it in front of their own net, the puck was deflected into the air above goalie Jonas Hiller. He lost sight of it before it hit him in the back and trickled into the net. Try as they might, the Ducks couldn't manage to get even, suffering their second loss in five preseason contests. It was also payback for Colorado, which fell to the Ducks 2-1 in Denver on Wednesday night.
The Avs got the first score of the game tonight from Guillaume Desbiens with 7:40 left in the second. The Ducks tried to clear the zone, but Matt Hunwick kept the puck in play by tapping it to Desbiens, who wristed it past Jonas Hiller.
"We played really well in the first, but we let the game get away from us afterwards," Hiller said. "I thought I had a couple good saves, but it’s always a disappointment if you lose."
The Ducks ultimately tied it less than a minute into the third just as Palmieri left the box for a tripping penalty. He met up with a loose puck with no Avs defender close to him, calmly skated in on Varlamov and flipped a backhand top shelf.
That was the only smudge on Varlamov's resume on the night, as he made a few spectacular saves that robbed the Ducks of near-certain goals.
Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin played his first game since undergoing reconstructive surgery on his ACL last May and logged a shade over 20 minutes.
"It was good to take a regular shift, give hits and take hits," Beauchemin said. "It’s been a long summer, and I haven’t had a chance to play any scrimmages during training camp. That was my first real game-type situation. It was good to play out there tonight."
Anaheim winger Jakob Silfverberg left the ice gingerly in the third period with an apparent lower body injury.
"He got banged up. Right now, it’s day-to-day," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "Like all our injuries, we seem to have an awful lot of banged up guys that are not long term. They’re just banged up. Hopefully, within the next two to three days, they’ll all be skating, and within a week they’ll be right in game shape and ready to go."
The Ducks face a rematch with the rival Kings (who took down Anaheim 6-0 on Tuesday) in LA on Tuesday night.