Karlsson Nets Two

A week ago, William Karlsson wasn’t sure he made the Ducks’ roster until the center boarded the team flight for a season-opening four-game eastern road swing.

On Monday afternoon, the rookie 21-year-old center was celebrating his first two NHL goals following a one-sided 5-1 win over the winless Buffalo Sabres.

“I had a goal to make the team, but I was ready to go back to Norfolk,” Karlsson said, referring to the Ducks’ Virginia-based AHL affiliate. “But now I’m here. And now my next focus is the next game.”


Karlsson has certainly earned his opportunity filling the third-line center role in place of injured forwards Dany Heatley (groin) and Kyle Palmieri (ankle). He put the Ducks up 2-0 at 8:15 of the second period by snapping a shot in from the slot. Karlsson then made it 4-0 early in the third period, when he batted in his own rebound.

Coach Bruce Boudreau held out Karlsson in the Ducks’ opener at Pittsburgh, before giving him a shot in a 3-2 win at Detroit on Saturday.

“We put him in, and it was, ‘Not bad. Let’s see what he’s got again,’” Boudreau said. “And tonight, I thought he was our best player.”