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Effort Is Mighty but Ducks Lose Again

February 16, 1996|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VANCOUVER, Canada — The Mighty Ducks jumped on their treadmill again Thursday night at GM Place. Running hard, but not really getting anywhere, the Ducks lost, 5-3, to the Vancouver Canucks before 16,367.

This time, mistakes and shabby effort didn't do them in. Vancouver's Alexander Mogilny did. Mogilny's two goals and three assists proved far better than Teemu Selanne's two-goal game for the Ducks.

Selanne's goals were the 150th and 151st of his career and came in his 235th NHL game.

Mogilny's five-point game equaled his season high, set Dec. 1 against the San Jose Sharks. His 46th goal this season only 48 seconds into the third period proved to be the game-winner.

He trails only Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, who has 47 goals in 47 games, for the league lead.

To finish off the night, and the Ducks' too, he added an assist on Jim Dowd's game-clinching goal with 2:55 left in the game.

"All in all, I couldn't be happier with our performance," Coach Ron Wilson said. "We showed up, but we didn't get the breaks. We couldn't put away our [scoring] chances."

It took the Ducks all of 1:15 to show they intended to play more passionately than during Wednesday's mediocre effort against Edmonton, a 3-2 loss.

Rookie J.F. Jomphe again was at the center of the Ducks' aggressive play. His worst shot from the right circle bounced off Vancouver goaltender Corey Hirsch and to Frederik Olausson, who tapped the rebound into the net for his first goal as a Duck.

More significantly, it gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead 1:15 into the game.

The Ducks then forgot to watch Mogilny closely enough and he put a slap shot from the right circle behind Guy Hebert only 18 seconds later. Hebert gave way to Mikhail Shtalenkov to start the third after his back stiffened.

Instead of folding and allowing another goal, as they did during Edmonton's three-goal flurry in the first seven minutes of the second period Wednesday, the Ducks turned up the intensity.

"As much as I don't like honorable losses, I've seen us taking steps against New Jersey and tonight," Olausson said. "We can't give up or we're dead. We've got to look at the things we've done well and go from there."

That they outshot the Canucks, 17-7, was only one measure of their fine first-period play. The Ducks had been outshot, 9-4, 9-5 and 17-6, in first periods of the first three games of this four-game trip.

Perhaps their only serious gaffe in the first period Thursday was allowing Mogilny too much open ice. He didn't flub his early opportunity, scoring his team-leading 45th goal.

Mogilny also assisted on both Vancouver goals in the second period.

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