By Kyle Shohara
Saturday was a work day for the Anaheim Ducks, who held their morning skate at Honda Center before departing for San Jose for tonight’s game against the Sharks at SAP Center.
Fresh off a 2-1 victory last night in their home opener vs. Los Angeles, the Ducks are looking to solidify their game as they reach the halfway point of their preseason schedule tonight.
Following tonight’s game, the Ducks return to Southern California for a road contest at STAPLES Center on Tuesday before closing out the preseason at Honda Center with matchups against the Colorado Avalanche (Oct. 1) and San Jose Sharks (Oct. 3).
Several Ducks are expected to make their preseason debuts tonight, including veterans Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry.
“You want to get your legs feeling good, get your timing back and just go out and implement the system,” said Cogliano. “Sometimes it’s better playing teams you know. We’ve played them a lot. They’re a team we’re comfortable with.”
Cogliano skated on a line with Perry and Mike Santorelli this morning.
“Pears is a premier player, and he’s one of our best players,” said Cogliano. “I’m just going to try to get him the puck in scoring areas because he’s a finisher. I’ll work hard for him, get in on the forecheck and hopefully turn pucks over to give him an opportunity to score.”
Starting in net for the Ducks will be veteran Anton Khudobin, who was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman James Wisniewski on June 27.
“Everybody I’ve talked to says he’s a really good goaltender,” said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. “I’ve seen him, but haven’t seen him live. It’ll be interesting to see him tonight.”
Originally selected by Minnesota in the seventh round (206th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft, Khudobin posted an 8-17-6 record with one shutout, a 2.72 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 34 games for the Hurricanes last season. Khudobin tied a career high with a six-game winning streak from Dec. 23-Jan. 27 (6-0-0, second time) and set a personal best with seven straight games without a regulation loss from Dec. 23-Feb. 3 (6-0-1).
“He’s athletic and plays bigger than his size,” said Boudreau, of his 5-foot-11, 203-pound netminder. “He’ll come out and challenge. Just watching the practice out there today, not many got by him because he comes out and challenges really well.”