Faithful Ducks fans followed the Ducks Caravan on Sunday afternoon from the Spectrum to Fashion Island to the Honda Center. The finale, the game between the Ducks and Avalanche, did not end quite as they imagined it might.
Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves to give Colorado a 2-1 win. Kyle Palmieri was the only Ducks player to get anything past the goaltender, who had an outstanding game.
Jonas Hiller did not have nearly as much work at the other end of the ice. He made 23 saves. Had he made 24, the game might have seen overtime.
Guillaume Desbiens broke the stalemate between the two sides at 12:20 of the second period. Palmieri tied it up early in the third, but a fluke goal from Brad Malone gave the Avs the lead and they held on to it. Malone's tip in was listed as unassisted because he did not tip in his teammate's shot. He tipped in Shea Theodore's. It happens.
The Ducks line up did include defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who played in his first pre-season game after having ACL surgery last spring. Logging 20:04 of playing time was a good sign, as the Ducks really need the veteran to be healthy and ready to go when they open the season next week.
"It was good to take a regular shift, give hits and take hits," said Beauchemin, who also anticipates playing in the final pre-season game on Saturday against San Jose. "It’s been a long summer, and I haven’t had a chance to play any scrimmages during training camp. That was my first real game-type situation. It was good to play out there tonight."
Getting Beauchemin back was a good thing, but in the meantime, another player bit the dust, adding yet another body to the trainer's room. Winger Jakob Silfverberg left the ice in the third period with an apparent lower body injury.
Silfverberg joins Luca Sbisa, Emerson Etem and Sami Vatanen with booboos that are listed as short term injuries.
Anaheim now has two pre-season games remaining on the schedule. The first is a rematch with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night. The final one is a bout against San Jose on Saturday.
In other notes:
With training camp winding down, more cuts have been made. The most recent have defensemen Mat Clark, Kyle Cumiskey and Alex Grant going to Norfolk of the AHL. Goaltender John Gibson and wingers Joseph Cramarossa and Stefan Noesenhas also joined them in Norfolk.
That leaves 19 forwards, 12 defensemen and 4 goalies remaining.