Defense falters in loss to Sharks
The Ducks have defensive issues heading to Wednesday’s regular-season opener in Colorado, with veteran Sheldon Souray sidelined for two months and fellow defenseman Luca Sbisa probably out.
Saturday, in their 6-5 exhibition finale loss against San Jose at Honda Center, the Ducks were outshot, 39-18, and four of the Sharks’ goals came on power plays, raising questions about the Ducks’ penalty-killing ability.
“We have to get better,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “That team was much faster than us. That’s a concern. … You can’t come in and say preseason’s over, let’s get it going.”
Boudreau included goalie Jonas Hiller in his criticism.
“We have to make the save in the penalty killing, and get the rebounds contained,” he said.
Hiller said effort was lacking on the brink of the first real game.
“It’s definitely not the way you want to end preseason,” Hiller said. “It wasn’t my best game. Pucks were all over the place. We have
to work harder.”
The Ducks by Monday will trim their roster to 23, plus others, including Souray, who will be on injured reserve.
Boudreau said Friday it was “big” for bubble players including center Peter Holland, right wing Devante Smith-Pelly and young defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who played his way into contention for a spot with three exhibition goals.
“Sometimes it comes down to one game,” Boudreau said.
Ducks center Andrew Cogliano produced what may stand up as the team’s most dazzling efforts of the season in the first period Saturday.
By catching up to a puck that bounded off the boards up ice, Cogliano first collected it, slipped and fell forward, flailing his stick while spinning and sliding and knocking the shot past goalie Antti Niemi for a 2-1 lead.
“I don’t know if I’ll do it again, but I’ll remember it, at least,” Cogliano said.
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