The Blues, who had the NHL’s worst record last season, have dropped a club-record 12 straight road games. They will take an 0-3 record into their home opener Thursday. Curtis Sanford made his season debut in goal for St. Louis and stopped 32 shots in place of Manny Legace, who gave up nine goals in losses to San Jose and Los Angeles.
The Blues, assessed 23 minor penalties in their first two games, paid the price the first time they were short-handed against the Ducks. Defenceman Eric Brewer was off for hooking when Kunitz scored at 16:42 of the opening period on a deflection of Teemu Selanne’s one-timer from the top of the left circle. Chris Pronger also got an assist for his first point with Anaheim.
Martin Rucinsky was serving a hooking penalty when Sanford stopped Andy McDonald’s shot from a sharp angle, and Kunitz converted the rebound at the edge of the crease just 35 seconds into the third period. Kunitz, playing left wing on the Ducks’ No. 1 line with Selanne and McDonald, had two multi-goal games last season.
Selanne, who assisted on both goals, was formally presented with the Bill Masterton Trophy in a pre-game ceremony. The award, established in 1968, is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Notes: The Blues scored an NHL-low 197 goals last season and were shut out seven times while missing the playoffs for the first time since 1979. … Only twice in franchise history have the Blues gotten off to a worse start. They lost their first six games in 1977-78, and their first four in 1987-88. … St. Louis LW Keith Tkachuk played in his 900th NHL regular-season game. … Blues D Barret Jackman was scratched because of a strained left knee. He missed the final 19 games last season because of a broken jaw. … The Ducks are unbeaten in seven home games against St. Louis since a 3-2 loss on March 17, 2002.