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Veteran Lineup Cranks It Up

September 18, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

The Mighty Ducks played faster, tougher, more determined hockey in a 5-0 exhibition victory over Mark Messier and the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday at the Pond.

The lineup made all the difference. Instead of playing an inexperienced team as he did in Sunday's 4-1 loss to Edmonton, Coach Pierre Page went with a more veteran team Wednesday.

Norwegian rookie Espen Knutsen, playing left wing for the first time in his hockey career, responded with three assists. Defenseman Dmitri Mironov had a goal and two assists. Tomas Sandstrom, Steve Rucchin, Darren Van Impe and Teemu Selanne had the other goals. Goaltender Guy Hebert stopped all 21 shots he faced in shutting out the Canucks (1-2).

"The most pleasing part was to see the work ethic," Page said. "We played like we practiced. Since Monday, we've really cranked it up."

Knutsen, who played on the top line with Rucchin and Selanne, and Matt Cullen were the most impressive youngsters.

"To play with Teemu and Steve, it's more like a dream to get to play with them," Knutsen said. "I knew Steve was good, but I didn't know he was that good. This is only my second game. I need more games to fit in."

Two referees worked the game as part of an NHL experiment during exhibition games. Blaine Angus and Rob Shick called a tight game, which produced 77 penalty minutes.


The Ducks play the Phoenix Coyotes at 7 tonight at America West Arena in Phoenix. . . . Individual game tickets for the regular season go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Pond and at TicketMaster locations. Tickets are limited to six per game per person. The Ducks' pregame skate will be open to the public starting at 11:30 a.m. at the Pond. They play the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 p.m.

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