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Duck Shots

January 03, 1997|MARK PARGAS

A weekly update on the Mighty Ducks.

It takes four games to remind the Mighty Ducks that it's important to hold on to an early lead. They squandered advantages in losses to the Rangers and Devils as well as a victory over the Senators. When the points in the standings are totaled up at the end of the season, the Ducks will be short four precious ones left on the table here. Here's a look at the week ahead.

* Where they stand: 14-19-5 (33 points), fourth in the Pacific Division and 10th in the Western Conference.

* Who's hot: The power play picks up the pace against Ottawa and Florida, with three goals on nine chances. By the way, the Ducks win both games.

* Who's not: Despite keeping the Florida power play silent in six attempts, the Ducks' penalty-killing unit is ranked 22nd and gave up three goals to the Rangers, one to the Devils and one to the Senators.

UPCOMING

* Today, at Tampa Bay (4:30 p.m., Fox Sports West): The Lightning struggles to keep a lead, just like the Ducks. Florida came back from a two-goal deficit to get a tie on Dec. 26, and Montreal celebrated after rallying in the third period to get a 4-4 tie on Dec. 28. John Cullen and Dino Ciccarelli provide the scoring.

* Monday, Vancouver (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West): The Canucks were outscored, 25-8, in four consecutive games, all losses. After a 6-1 loss to San Jose on Dec. 26, Canuck Coach Tom Renney assessed the damage for the Associated Press: "The Sharks are not the Rangers, Chicago or Detroit . . . we should have done better."

* Wednesday, Florida (7:30 p.m., KCAL-TV Channel 9): The Panthers are 0-2-2 for the week while the Flyers sweep Western Canada and move into the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Scott Mellanby, the Panthers' leading scorer, had one shot against the Ducks on Jan. 1.

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