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STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS | DUCK NOTES

Hebert Plans to Practice, but Shtalenkov Will Start

May 08, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mighty Duck goaltender Guy Hebert tested his strained groin Wednesday, skating lightly for 30 minutes. He plans to participate in this morning's workout, but Mikhail Shtalenkov is expected to start Game 4 against the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the Pond.

"I'll try to do my normal routine," said Hebert, injured while making a third-period save Sunday in Game 2. "I'll face the two-on-one and three-on-two drills. If I can't move across the crease and get down [to block shots], then I won't be any good to the team.

"It's coming along pretty fast. I'm hopeful. We're going to have to see what happens at the skate [today]. I felt pretty good. It's hard to believe it's only been since Sunday."

Shtalenkov faced 49 shots as the Ducks collapsed defensively in a 5-3 loss to the Red Wings on Tuesday in Game 3.

"The team had a tough game, and I think Mikhail had a tough game, but I don't think the game came down to goaltending," Hebert said.

*

There were no concession speeches at Wednesday's optional practice.

"Everything's possible," left wing Paul Kariya said. "To sit here and say we have to win four games against Detroit is a little overwhelming. Can we win [tonight]? Yes. We have to look at it like that."

Kariya had no explanation why the Ducks faltered so badly in Game 3.

"I don't know what happened," he said. "It was our worst game since, well, since I can remember. It totally went against everything we've talked about all season."

*

It didn't take long for Duck Coach Ron Wilson's name to surface as a possible candidate to replace Don Hay in Phoenix. Hay, fired Tuesday, called Wilson "a good candidate."

Wilson was surprised by Hay's firing, but said he laughed when he called up an on-line article on his computer and "there was my name about five paragraphs into the story."

Wilson, who does not have a contract for next season and could essentially become a free agent, also has been rumored to be a candidate for jobs in Buffalo, Detroit and Pittsburgh. He says he wants to stay in Anaheim.

*

A feeling of helplessness seized Wilson as he watched the deeper Red Wings rally with four consecutive goals in the second half of Game 3.

"It was a little like the gas shortage, remember the gas shortage?" Wilson said. "Remember odd and even days? If your license plate ended in an even number you could only fill up on even days of the week. We were even [Tuesday] and were stuck standing at the gas station on the 31st and 1st of the month.

"That's how frustrated I was getting [Tuesday] night."

*

Winger Kevin Todd will probably replace Ted Drury, who scored his first playoff goal despite playing with a strained neck/shoulder in Game 3. . . . Detroit tough guy Joe Kocur will not play tonight. Kocur suffered back spasms and did not return to Tuesday's game after losing his balance and crashing into the boards during the first period. Either Tim Taylor or Mike Knuble will replace him.

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