Ducks Blasted Again, This Time By Blues, End Road Trip 0-3

The Ducks have been outscored by a 13-2 margin in three contests this season.

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Andy Sutton Out 6-8 Weeks For Ducks

Andy Sutton, the Anaheim Ducks' defenseman who fractured his right thumb in the season opener Friday in Detroit against the Red Wings, is expected to miss six to eight weeks after surgery this morning, the club announced today.

Sutton's injury is the second suffered by an Anaheim free agent defenseman in the early going this season. Toni Lydman, who signed a three-year contract this summer, has yet to play this season while suffering from double vision. Sutton, who signed a two-year deal with the Ducks in the offseason, broke his thumb during a fight with Ruslan Salei of Detroit on Friday.

Without Sutton and Lydman, the Ducks' defense has suffered mightily, as they have allowed a whopping 145 shots in three games. They have been outscored 13-2 in their three games, all losses.

The Ducks next play Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks, the home opener for Anaheim.

For more Anaheim Ducks news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Anaheim Calling.


Ducks Fall In St. Louis To Blues, 5-1

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Matt D'Agostini scored twice as the St. Louis Blues earned a 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Scottrade Center.

Andy McDonald, B.J. Crombeen and David Backes also tallied for the Blues, who opened the 2010-11 season with a 2-1 overtime win against Philadelphia on Saturday. T.J. Oshie registered a pair of assists in the victory.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 13-of-14 shots.

Saku Koivu notched the lone goal for Anaheim, which dropped back-to-back games at Detroit on Friday and Saturday at Nashville. The Ducks will face Vancouver in their home-opener on Wednesday.

"We're getting the puck into the neutral ice, but we're not controlling the puck at all," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said about the offensive struggles. "The other team has had the puck more than we have. We're not winning enough one-on-one battles."

Jonas Hiller allowed four goals on 34 shots before Curtis McElhinney replaced him late in the second period. McElhinney turned aside 18-of-19 shots.

St. Louis opened the scoring, striking for two goals six seconds apart early in the first period. After Anaheim failed to clear the puck out of its own zone, David Perron got the puck, skated in on a three-on-two and slid it over to Backes for a redirection tally at 3:53.

Then off the ensuing faceoff, McDonald took a feed from Oshie and fired a wrister that beat the Ducks' netminder to the glove side at 3:59.

"That was big. Kind of gave us an early two-goal lead," D'Agostini said about the quick start. "We didn't stop working from there which was key."

Crombeen's shorthanded tally off another Ducks turnover 5:10 into the second stanza made it 3-0, but Koivu got the visitors on the board 58 seconds later while on the power play when his wrist shot from in close squeezed through Halak.

D'Agostini put the Blues up 4-1 with 4:09 left in the middle frame when he took a rink-wide pass from Alex Pietrangelo and blasted a slap shot over the shoulder of Hiller from the top of the right circle. Hiller was then replaced by McElhinney.

St. Louis had a golden opportunity to blow the game wide open as the Blues were awarded seven minutes in power-play time at 17:00 of the second. Following a major scrum involving several players, Ducks forward Bobby Ryan received a fighting major, instigator penalty and a 10-minute misconduct for his role. However, Anaheim was able to kill off the entire time that carried over into the third period.

D'Agostini's power-play tally on a turnaround wrister from the left circle with 2:42 left in the third accounted for the 5-1 final.

Earlier on Monday, the Ducks signed veteran defenseman Andreas Lilja to a one-year contract...St. Louis forward Cam Janssen did not play after suffering a head injury against the Flyers on Saturday...The Blues finished 1-for-10 on the power play, while Anaheim went 1-for-3...Both teams combined for 143 minutes in penalties...Anaheim and the Blues split four games during last year's season series.


Ducks Sign Defenseman Lilja To One-Year Deal

The Anaheim Ducks have signed defenseman Andreas Lilja to a one-year contract, the club announced today. Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reported that the deal is a one-way contract worth $600,000.

Lilja, 35, was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2000, and played the last five years with the Detroit Red Wings. He spent this preseason with the San Jose Sharks on a pro tryout, but was ultimately released.

Arthur from Anaheim Calling wrote that the signing of Lilja was a much-needed move:

Anaheim was rumored to be interested in several defensemen over the offseason but admitted they were unable to get anything done before they signed rearguard Paul Mara.  However, subsequent injuries to Top 4 defensemen Toni Lydman and Andy Sutton have put Anaheim in need of immediate defensive help.


Ducks End Road Trip With Daytime Affair In St. Louis

(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to shake off a rough start to the season when they visit the St. Louis Blues for this afternoon's matinee at Scottrade Center.

The Ducks have lost both of their games in regulation so far and have been outscored by an 8-1 margin in the two contests. Anaheim is beginning the campaign on a three-game road trip and will play seven of its first 10 games of the 2010-11 campaign on the road. However, the club will return to Orange County for a three-game homestand following today's tilt.

After getting dealt a 4-0 loss in Detroit on Friday night, the Ducks were dealt a 4-1 setback the following evening in Nashville. Steve Sullivan was one of four different goal scorers for the Predators in the win at Bridgestone Arena. Saku Koivu scored Anaheim's one and only goal of the season in Saturday's loss, while Jonas Hiller stopped 45 shots for the Ducks.

"Today's not a day that you come down on people," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said after Sunday's practice. "The most important thing is to recognize that they are going to feel down. That's natural, but you have to help pick them up. I think you have to support them."

The Blues, meanwhile, picked up a thrilling victory in their season opener as Carlo Colaiacovo scored 1:47 into overtime to lift St. Louis to a 2-1 home win over Philadelphia. Brad Boyes netted the other score for the Blues, who prior to the game unveiled a statue of Brett Hull outside Scottrade Center. Hull skated the majority of his career for St. Louis (1988-98), amassing almost 500 goals with the franchise alone.

The winning goal on Saturday night came shortly after Philly's Danny Briere rang a shot off the right post. The Blues broke back into their offensive zone and Alex Steen had his initial backhand chance blocked, but the rebound came to Colaiacovo at the point for a blistering game-winner.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 29-of-30 shots for the win, his first with St. Louis after coming over in an offseason deal from Montreal. Halak had ended last season by facing the Flyers with the Habs in the Eastern Conference finals, but lost in five games.

"I thought when we made mistakes he made the saves for us," said St. Louis head coach Davis Payne about Halak. "He was big and then as the game went on it forced them to look into different options to beat him. Great performance tonight from him."

St. Louis forward Cam Janssen left the game in the second period and did not return after absorbing an accidental hit by teammate Brad Winchester. Janssen is questionable for today's contest with a head injury.

Anaheim and the Blues split four games during last year's season series. The Ducks have won four of six and seven of 10 overall in the series and Anaheim also has five victories in its last nine trips to the Gateway City.

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