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Duck Shots

March 07, 1997|MARK PARGAS

A weekly update on the Mighty Ducks.

Anaheim keeps inching ahead in the playoff race with victories in four of its last six games. The Ducks have not lost since Feb. 20. Here's a look at what's ahead.

* Where they stand: 27-30-8 (62 points), third in the Pacific Division, tied for seventh in the Western Conference.

* Who's hot: Guy Hebert is unbeaten in six games (4-0-2) and has a 1.62 goals-against average in those games.

* Who's not: Defenseman J.J. Daigneault loses his appeal of a 10-game suspension.


* Today, N.Y. Rangers (7:30 p.m., KCAL-TV Channel 9): Need another reason for the Rangers' recent troubles? Defenseman Ulf Samuelsson told the New York Daily News to look at the penalty-killing unit, which ranks last in the NHL. "Oh man, there are so many problems with it right now you can't even name them." The Rangers had problems against the San Jose power play last Monday. Jeff Friesen and Greg Hawgood took advantage of the Rangers' poor defensive coverage down low to score and send the game to overtime. The Rangers eventually won.

* Sunday, at Colorado (5 p.m., KCAL-TV Channel 9): There will be no contract power play during the season for the Avalanche's Joe Sakic, who will wait until after the season to negotiate a new contract. "I think everyone was worried that [in-season negotiating] could take away from our focus," Sakic told the Rocky Mountain News. "This way we don't have to worry about it and we can concentrate on trying to win a championship." Sakic will be a Group II (restricted) free agent if there is no deal by July 1.

* Wednesday, Detroit (7:30 p.m., no TV): And a final thought on specialty teams. The Red Wing power play, one of the worst early this season, now is among the best. The secret? "We've been using the entire end zone," Steve Yzerman told the Detroit News. "We've been doing a good job of passing the puck and getting shots from different spots. For a while, we were passing the puck between a couple of players and setting up for a one-timer from [Brendan Shanahan] in front."

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