Colorado Takes Advantage of Error Laden Ducks 6-1

If this is how the whole season is going to go, Teemu Selanne is going to regret coming back for a final year. 

Anaheim has to be a whole lot better after a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche to open the season on Wednesday night.   A lot better.  From top to bottom.

The Ducks outshot the Avalanche, 36-29, but the only number the counts is the one on the scoreboard.    Were it not for a few inches, the numbers could have been different.  Saku Koivu's first shot of the game hit the post :20 seconds in, but if it doesn't go in, it doesn't count.

The first goal to go in was Ryan O'Reilly's at 15:39 of the first period.  His uncredited assist came from Francois Beauchemin, who turned over the puck at the wrong time.   O'Reilly took advantage, putting the puck behind Viktor Fasth, who got the nod in net over Jonas Hiller.

"A lot of breakdowns in the (defensive) zone," said Beauchemin, who was on the ice for 4 of the 6 goals.  "A lot of odd man rushes that shouldn't happen."

Anaheim never really recovered after that and Colorado sealed everything up in the second period, making it 4-0 before the final period with goals from Steve Downie, Jamie McGinn and John Mitchell.

Another goal from McGinn and a power play tally from Matt Duchene just added insult to injury. 

The Ducks were able to spoil Semyon Varlamov's outstanding performance and bid for a shut out with Jakob Silfverberg's first goal as a Duck at 19:53.  Silfverberg had been activated off the IR earlier (with the Ducks sending Devante Smith-Pelly to Norfolk to make room for him in the line up). 

In the final shift, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy decided to put out his big boys on the ice, angry over a hit Ben Lovejoy had on rookie Nathan McKinnon, this year's number one draft pick.

Things bubbled over into a shouting match at the end of the game, with Roy showing his notorious hot headed temper by pushing and nearly knocking over the partition between the benches.  Roy received a game misconduct penalty for his uncalled for tantrum and got a $10,000 fine from the NHL for his actions.

"There was no need for it," said coach Bruce Boudreau.  "They got the game won. Just pull your players off and show a little class."

On the plus side, Roy succeeded in making sure more fans come out to see the Avalanche play and got every sports radio and talk show to discuss hockey for a change.

"We didn't compete the way we wanted to," said captain Ryan Getzlaf.  "We stopped moving our feet a little bit.  When you've got a skating team like that and kind of stand still they catch you flat footed.  That's something that we're going to have to look at, and look at moving the puck a little bit quicker out of our zone and getting going."

Ducks have two days to figure it out before playing Minnesota on Saturday in the second of three road games.

In other notes:  Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch, having been outplayed at training camp by Patrick Maroon, who joined the top line for the opener.  Penner, on the other hand, was able to say "wasn't my fault!" when all was said and done.

Newly acquired center Mathieu Perreault lived up to his billing by winning 81% of his face-offs, a lone bright spot among the otherwise dismal statistics.

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.

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