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It Takes Time, but Ducks Win, 4-3


The game between the Mighty Ducks and Boston Bruins figured to be exciting, and after a sluggish start and a listless middle, they finally delivered before 17,174 Wednesday night at the Pond of Anahim.

For Duck fans, Teemu Selanne delivered an assist in his long-awaited Anaheim debut. For Bruin fans--and curious King followers--Rick Tocchet scored a goal in his first game in the Southland after being dealt to Boston for Kevin Stevens in a trade of past-their-prime forwards.

And then there was former Duck Tim Sweeney sneaking the game-tying goal into Anaheim's net with less than five minutes left in the third period. But no one could top Alex Hicks' overtime goal that gave the Ducks a 4-3 overtime victory.

Hicks raced around Boston defenseman Rick Zombo, making a rather ordinary move. But in a flash, Hicks put the puck into the Bruin net, giving the Ducks their first two-game winning streak since mid-December victories over Pittsburgh and Ottawa.

"When it comes down to crunch time, stick Alex out there," Duck Coach Ron Wilson said. "We were lucky to get to OT. It was a great move by Alex."

Paul Kariya also had two goals for the Ducks, who defeated the Kings, 2-1, when Marty McSorley accidentally put Kariya's centering pass into the King net in overtime Saturday.

Kariya's second goal evened Wednesday's score at 2-2. Hicks gave the Ducks the lead 16 seconds later.

But Sweeney, the Ducks' fourth-leading scorer in their inaugural season, sent the game to OT with only his second goal in 16 games for the Bruins. His goal, with 4:55 left in regulation, seemed to deflate the Ducks.

But Hicks changed all that 1:35 into overtime.

"This is unbelievable," Selanne said. "It's so great to get a win like this."

Bruin goaltender Bill Ranford twisted his ankle in the first period and was replaced by Craig Billington to start the second. It was about as big a break as the Ducks could have hoped for Wednesday.

Ranford defeated the Ducks twice as a member of the Edmonton Oilers earlier this season, including a 3-0 shutout Nov. 22. Ranford, acquired from the Oilers Jan. 11, had a habit of making them look even more inept offensively than normal.

But Billington promptly let Kariya's backhander by for a 1-0 Duck lead 39 seconds into the second. Selanne had the lone assist, recording his eighth point (four goals, four assists) in six games since the Feb. 7 trade from Winnipeg.

Their power play failed to click twice and Tocchet countered at the 15:57 mark, slamming Ted Donato's drop pass in the slot past Mikhail Shtalenkov.

The first period was scoreless, but neither team lacked for scoring chances. Ranford stopped Kariya with a glove save on a 3-on-2 break at the 8:33 mark, then later denied Selanne on a breakaway. Selanne didn't have a clean break because Don Sweeney was hooking him as he skated in.

Duck Notes

Defenseman Jason Marshall, called up from Baltimore of the AHL, played in only his fourth NHL game Wednesday. Marshall, acquired in the deal that sent Bill Houlder to St. Louis Aug. 29, 1994, replaced Don McSween in the lineup and was paired with David Karpa. . . . Atlanta Falcon quarterback Bobby Hebert presented goaltender Guy Hebert with a No. 3 Falcon jersey in the dressing room following the Ducks' morning skate. Bobby, who grew up in Louisiana, said he wanted to meet Guy, from upstate New York, for some time. They are not related.

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