Ryan O'Byrne, Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Giguere shines in return to Anaheim

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Jean-Sebastien Giguere admitted that the first trip to Anaheim this season would be special for him. After conference calls and plenty of questions about what the return would mean to him, Giguere finally was able to get down to easy part—the actual game. Sixty minutes later, the Avs were leaving just as quickly as they arrived with a strong 4-2 victory over the Ducks.

Giguere admitted that there were some nerves involved to start the game. “[I was] a little nervous,” Giguere said. “It’s been so long—it’s been two years, that’s a long time in hockey. At the same time, I was excited. I wanted to have a good performance. I am really pleased with the result. It speaks to all the guys who played in front of me.”

No matter how often coaches or teammates spouted off clichés about this being “just another game,” the return to Anaheim was anything but an average game for Giguere over the course of a long, 82-game season. It’s wasn’t just the return—it was the fan’s reaction to Giguere’s return.

In case there was any doubt, the former Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion returned to a hero’s welcome on Saturday night. “I was pretty touched,” the Avs netminder said. “I wasn’t necessarily expecting a bad reaction, but I’m glad that people reacted that way. Obviously, I consider this place my second home – my kids were born here so it means a lot to me when I come back here. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Ducks fans, they’ve always been amazing to me. I’ve never really gotten a chance to say thanks to them, obviously, so thank you guys.”

Here’s the video montage that the Ducks organization put together for the Honda Center crowd early in the first period.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.