HELP WANTED: The Anaheim Ducks are searching for a productive left wing to replace Jason Blake, who will be out for three months with a deep arm laceration and tendon damage.
REQUIREMENTS: Must be capable of scoring goals while contributing defensively and on the team's power play. Could potentially necessitate a cross-country move from Syracuse to Anaheim.
COMPENSATION: Ability to further one's career with a tremendous opportunity alongside future Hall-of-Famer Teemu Selanne and veteran two-way center Saku Koivu.
The Ducks held their first in-game audition for the spot vacated by Jason Blake, whose arm was severely cut by San Jose defenseman Brent Burns' skate in a faceoff scrum on Friday night.
Brandon McMillan leapfrogged to the second line and was provided the opportunity to skate with Selanne and Koivu in Anaheim's 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues Sunday evening at the Honda Center.
McMillan, known for his speed and defensive responsibilities, did not register a point in his 13:40 of ice time. He took one shot, registered a minus-one rating, and drew muted praise from Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle.
"I think McMillan played decent. He fit in to that slot where Blake is," Carlyle said. "Again, we're going to go with this here for a little bit, and then we'll do a re-evaluation of where we're at on Tuesday. So right now we feel he's the best fit, and we'll probably see him again there."
Citing the need to continue playing the style of hockey he's always played, McMillan seemed to take the experience of playing alongside the two established veterans as a step in his development as a young player.
"I thought we had a few chances," McMillan said. "There's definitely going to be a learning curve starting to play with them. It's a totally different game from what I've been playing. I've got to make a few adjustments, and hopefully we can get some good chemistry and become a really good line for the next couple months."
With Jason Blake out, Patrick Maroon was recalled from the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, where he recorded two goals and five points along with a plus-four rating in two games. He took part in warm-ups but was scratched following his cross-country flight.
On a night in which the Ducks scored more than one goal in regulation for the first time this season, the team improved to 3-1-0. Anaheim's defense has been sturdy by allowing just seven goals, the lowest goals against tally in the season's first four games in club history.
Bobby Ryan scored twice and Corey Perry added a goal on a tribute night that recognized him winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP while Francois Beauchemin rounded out the scoring. Jonas Hiller was sharp, stopping 28 of 30 shots.
"We were fortunate enough to play probably two periods tonight and get away and sneak out a win," Carlyle said.
NOTES: The game marked the first time that St. Louis' three teams the Blues, Cardinals and Rams all played on the same day. In addition to the Blues' loss, the Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 12-6 to advance to the World Series, while the Rams remained winless with a 24-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Anaheim's top two lines entered Sunday without any points but received strong production in the 4-2 win. Bobby Ryan (three points), Ryan Getzlaf (one point), Corey Perry (one point) and Teemu Selanne (one point) all registered their first points of the season. The two-goal game was the 20th multi-goal game of Ryan's career. Matt Beleskey played in his first game of the season following off-season shoulder surgery that sidelined him through training camp and the first three games. He registered four penalty minutes and was held without a point in 4:38 of ice time. Ryan tweeted about his line needing to break out of their slump earlier in the day, saying on Twitter "Olive garden with the linemates on a Sunday morning. Breadsticks are the slump busters. See you tonight at the Honda center". Following the game, Ryan was pleased with the pregame choice. "Every pre-game meal should be there. The line had a good night, so I'll tell the boys next time no more Barolo we're going to Olive Garden."