Ducks’ Teemu Selanne is quick to score in 6-2 exhibition opener win
If Teemu Selanne needed confirmation his decision to return to play another NHL season at age 43 was the right move, the puck he saw lying in front of the Phoenix net Monday was a good sign.
Selanne slapped the rebound past Phoenix goaltender Mark Visentin a mere 48 seconds into the Ducks’ exhibition season opener at Honda Center, igniting a 6-2 victory.
“It was a good start … let’s not get too excited,” Selanne said. “Exhibition games … they’re still important. Playing games hard is how you get into game shape.”
Selanne, who ranks 11th in the NHL with 675 career goals, spent the better part of the off-season in his native Finland mulling his return before announcing Aug. 30 he would come back for $2 million.
He came off the bench Monday with new right wing teammate Jakob Silfverberg, who was acquired in a trade that sent popular Duck Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators.
It was Silfverberg’s short backhand Selanne collected to score.
Selanne said beyond some hip flexor fatigue, he “feels really good,” but will rest for Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Kings.
His goal was followed by one just 21 seconds later, when Ducks 22-year-old defenseman Sami Vatanen made a shot from about 15 feet in front of Visentin for a 2-0 lead.
The too-good-to-be-true feel of the exhibition game continued with the Ducks taking a 3-0 lead before three minutes had expired.
Just in front of the blue line, defenseman Nolan Yonkman, a free agent signed in July after playing seven games with Florida last year, blasted a short-handed goal past Visentin.
Phoenix, on the day it learned defenseman Paul Bissonnette received a 10-game regular-season suspension for leaving the bench Sunday to fight the Kings’ Jordan Nolan, committed five first-period penalties.
The Coyotes survived a Ducks’ extended two-man advantage in the period only to trail, 4-0, at full strength when Daniel Winnik followed an Andrew Cogliano tip past Visentin.
Cogliano had three assists.
The lead became 5-1 when 2012 first-round draft pick Hampus Lindholm scored on an assists from Silfverberg and this year’s first pick, defenseman Shea Theodore.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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