Ducks News & Rumors: Drysdale, Carrick & More

It’s been a week of ups and downs for the Anaheim Ducks. The offense is starting to find its footing but the defense has been porous. The rebuild is in full effect and there are plenty of areas of improvement through the first 11 games of the season.

Kulikov Scores First Goal as a Duck

Dmitry Kulikov grabbed his 200th NHL point last week, but he wasn’t satisfied, scoring his first goal as a Duck on Sunday in the Ducks’ comeback win in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Typically a stay-at-home defenseman, Kulikov pushed up into the play as the Ducks searched for offense. His wraparound attempt caught goaltender Erik Kallgren out of position and he was able to slam the puck in off of his pad. The goal tied the game and brought the Ducks all the way back from a two-goal deficit. Trevor Zegras would complete the comeback with a laser off the post in the extra frame.

Ducks Break Losing Streak

The Ducks’ overtime triumph over the Leafs ended a seven-game losing streak, one that spanned all the way back to the second game of the season. Anaheim now has three wins on the season, with two of those coming at home in overtime. They have a plus-zero goal differential at home and an alarming minus-21 goal differential on the road.

Related: Ducks Have 3 Good Trade Targets to Improve Defense

The away struggles have been quite apparent, as they went winless on their five-game road trip and were also shut out by the Vegas Golden Knights last week on the road as well, although games in Las Vegas have been quite a thorn in the side for the Ducks since the Golden Knights entered the league. The Ducks will need to straighten out their performances away from home as the season progresses. They’ll have the opportunity to do so during their three-game road trip later this month.

Drysdale Out 4-6 Months with Shoulder Injury

For as much as this season is a period of evaluation during the rebuilding stages, the Ducks will be without a core part of that development after it was announced on Monday that Jamie Drysdale would be out for four to six months with a torn labrum. The defenseman suffered the injury in the loss to Vegas after William Carrier laid a hard hit on him behind the net. He immediately went to the locker room and did not return.

Jamie Drysdale Anaheim Ducks
Jamie Drysdale, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Drysdale is expected to undergo surgery sometime soon and not only is his absence a huge blow to the Ducks’ blue line, it’s also an unfortunate circumstance for the 20-year-old, who was expected to take a big leap in his development this season. The injury opens up opportunities for the likes of Simon Benoit among others to nail down a permanent spot in the lineup.

Regenda Assigned to Gulls, Gawdin Recalled

Pavol Regenda was reassigned to the American Hockey League (AHL) on Monday, with Glenn Gawdin being recalled in his place. Regenda was a preseason revelation for the Ducks after signing a two-year entry-level deal this past summer. He collected his first two career points as an NHL last month but had been a healthy scratch the past few games. He’ll find more game time in the AHL and has already scored twice since his reassignment.

Gawdin was one of the final roster cuts during training camp and could find himself taking reps on the fourth line, interchanging with Brett Leason. Gawdin signed with the Ducks this past summer as well, joining from Pacific Division rivals Calgary. He spent the majority of last season in the AHL with the Stockton Heat.

Carrick Begins Conditioning Stint

Sam Carrick was assigned to the San Diego Gulls on Tuesday to begin a conditioning loan. Carrick, who signed a two-year extension this past offseason, underwent hip surgery in May to repair a torn labrum and his expected recovery time pinned him for a November return. His recovery appears to be going smoothly and he will likely be in consideration for a spot on the fourth line—a role he held down for most of last season—upon the conclusion of his conditioning loan.

Anaheim begins a weekend back-to-back tonight against the San Jose Sharks before returning home to face the Florida Panthers on Sunday. The Ducks will be debuting their new Reverse Retro jerseys, one of two home games they’ll wear the new sweaters this season.

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