O’Sullivan, O’Brien net first NHL goals

American Hockey League alumni Patrick O’Sullivan of the Los Angeles Kings and Shane O’Brien of the Anaheim Ducks both scored their first National Hockey League goals on Wednesday night.

O’Sullivan, 21, was the winner of the Dudley “Red” Garrett Award as the outstanding rookie in the AHL in 2005-06. Skating for the Houston Aeros, O’Sullivan not only led all AHL rookies in scoring, he placed fourth overall with 93 points and third overall with 47 goals in 78 games for the Aeros. He added five goals and five assists in eight Calder Cup Playoff contests.

A two-time AHL Rookie of the Month, O’Sullivan also played for the PlanetUSA team at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg.

O’Sullivan was acquired by the Kings in June as part of the deal that sent another one-time AHL All-Star, Pavol Demitra, to Minnesota. O’Sullivan’s first NHL goal came Wednesday against his former team, in Los Angeles’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Wild.

O’Brien, 23, spent the last three seasons in the AHL with Anaheim’s affiliates, helping the Portland Pirates to the Atlantic Division title in 2005-06 and to within one victory of a berth in the Calder Cup Finals.

O’Brien recorded eight goals and 33 assists for 41 points in 77 games with Portland last season, and ranked second among all AHL defensemen with 287 penalty minutes. He also tied for fifth among league blueliners with his plus-20 rating.

O’Brien’s first NHL goal came against future Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek, and proved to be the game-winner in the Ducks’ 4-1 win over Detroit on Wednesday. Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz and Corey Perry, all of whom saw action in Portland last season as well, also scored for Anaheim.