ANAHEIM – Dany Heatley
didn’t wait long to endear himself to the Anaheim faithful, scoring less than a minute into his preseason Ducks debut in sparking his new team to a 4-0 victory over Colorado at Honda Center.
The Ducks played split squad preseason games for the first time in franchise history, with half the roster taking on the Colorado Avalanche at Honda Center while the other half faced the Avs just over 1,000 miles away at Pepsi Center in Denver (in a game that started an hour prior to the home tilt).
Heatley scored just 48 seconds into the game, and Anaheim added tallies from Rickard Rakell, Ben Lovejoy and Brendan Bell. Frederik Andersen went the whole way, recording 27 saves in the shutout.
Meanwhile in Denver, 33-year-old Brad Winchester had a pair of goals as the Ducks scored four unanswered in rolling to a 5-2 victory.
The 33-year-old Heatley, the former 50-goal-scorer who signed with the Ducks in July, is getting some early time on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He scored his first goal as a Duck (albeit a preseason one) when he went to a knee to punch in his own rebound in the game’s opening minute.
Rakell, a 2010 first round pick of Anaheim, made it a 2-0 game 5:52 into the first when he pounced on a bad Colorado turnover and shuttled the puck by recovering goalie Reto Berra.
Lovejoy gave Anaheim a 3-0 cushion 12 minutes into the middle stanza, taking in a Nate Thompson pass before slinging a shot home from just above the circles in the slot.
Just a few minutes into the third, Bell hammered a one-timer from above the right circle after getting a feed from Getzlaf. Bell, the 31-year-old defenseman, is also getting a pro tryout from Anaheim. He has not played in the NHL since 2012 with the Rangers, spending the past two seasons in the Swiss League and the Swedish Elite League.
The 33-year-old Winchester, who played 19 games with the Ducks during the 2010-11 season, is in camp on a pro tryout basis and gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead 6:11 into the first in Denver when he buried a rebound off a shot from Brandon Yip (also getting a pro tryout in this camp).
After the Avs bounced back with a pair of goals, Winchester tied the game 2:39 into the third with assists from youngsters Max Friberg and Louis Leblanc.
Andrew Cogliano gave Anaheim the lead halfway through the period, wristing home a shot off a Mark Fistric helper. Patrick Maroon made it 4-2 Ducks when he scored from in deep with 8:25 left, and Jakob Silfverberg polished it off with a late emptynetter.Jason LaBarbera
and Igor Bobkov
split time in net for the Ducks in Denver, with LaBarbera saving 19 of 21 Colorado shots and Bobkov stopping the only five shots he faced.
The Ducks will be back in action tomorrow evening (this time just playing one game for the night) against the Arizona Coyotes at Honda Center.