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Russian Goalie Is Making His Mark

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ilya Bryzgalov, 21, a goalie from Russia, started Tuesday’s exhibition game against San Jose and may open the season with the Ducks.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere has not skated in more than a week because of a groin injury he suffered during an off-season workout. The Ducks may have to pick up another goalie or go with Bryzgalov, who has been impressive and engaging during training camp.

Bryzgalov, who speaks little English, greeted reporters the first day by yelling, “Ha-low,” then continued talking to them in Russian. He later explained that the Kings managed to score a goal in an exhibition only because, “Player Los Angeles Kings hit me. I go poof.”

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He plays goalie better than he speaks English.

He has stopped 76 of 82 shots in eight periods of work, including 28 of 30 in a 4-2 victory over San Jose Tuesday night.

“He is a big kid who fills up the net and has a lot of raw talent,” said Francois Allaire, the Ducks’ goaltender consultant. “He just needs to learn a few things.”

He may get those lessons sooner than expected, should Giguere be unable to start the season.

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NHL officials suspended Phoenix’s Daymond Langkow for four exhibition games and the Ducks’ Vitaly Vishnevski for one for their altercation during the third period of Friday’s game.

Each player also was fined $1,000. Vishnevski served his suspension Sunday against San Jose.

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