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STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS | MIGHTY DUCK NOTES

This Record May Be Slightly Irregular

May 01, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Paul Kariya and Joe Sacco say it's unwise to put much stock into the Mighty Ducks' 3-0-1 regular-season record against the Detroit Red Wings.

"I do think our team matches up well against theirs," Kariya said. "I think we can give them a good run. . . . Every team we're going to play now has more talent, better players and more experience."

Sacco expects the Red Wings to play with more resolve than in the Ducks' 1-0 overtime victory March 30 at Joe Louis Arena.

"They've turned it up a notch since the regular season and that was obvious in their series against St. Louis," Sacco said. "When we last played them, they pretty much had third place locked up and we were still fighting for a playoff spot. I'm not saying they didn't try hard against us, but to come out of that building with a victory was huge for us."

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Detroit Coach Scotty Bowman dislikes the idea of trying to neutralize the Kariya-Steve Rucchin-Teemu Selanne line with only one line.

"Usually, I find with a line like that you can't restrict yourself to one line against them," Bowman told the Detroit News. "You can't be in an entirely defensive posture. You need toughness and speed. You need a line that's good offensively and defensively. You can't play the same guys against them. That would put too much pressure on one line."

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Phoenix Coyote left wing Kris King offered this prediction for the Ducks-Red Wings series:

"The Red Wings are beatable. They're not as strong as in recent years. If Anaheim can get big efforts out of [Kariya and Selanne] and solid goaltending [from Guy Hebert], I think they can beat anybody."

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Coach Ron Wilson gets edgy when the Ducks invariably get outplayed in the second period of games at the Pond. They were outscored, 52-44, in the second period at home.

"The second period in this building scares the . . . out of me," Wilson said. "We are sound asleep every time we play here. I've gone in the dressing room and yelled. I've gone in there and begged. I've tried being calm and the same thing always happens."

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Game 1 of the series Friday will be shown on ESPN. Game 2 on Sunday will be aired on Channel 11.

Games 3 and 4 at the Pond on Tuesday and Thursday will be televised by Fox Sports West and Fox Sports West 2.

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