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Mighty Ducks (35-34-13) Vs. Detroit Red Wings (43-32-7)

Ducks At A Glance

April 21, 1999|CHRIS FOSTER

The Ducks finished the season 1-5-2 after clinching a playoff berth, but that's a bit misleading. They had solid efforts against St. Louis and the Kings last week, but lost both games. They have a potent offense led by Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya, the NHL's No. 2 and No. 3 scorers.

* Top line: Selanne, right wing (47 goals, 107 points); Steve Rucchin, center (23 goals, 62 points); Kariya, left wing (39 goals, 101 points).

* Top defensive unit: Fredrik Olausson (16 goals, 56 points), Ruslan Salei (2 goals, 16 points).

* Goaltenders: Guy Hebert (31-29-9, 2.42 goals-against average, .922 save percentage, 6 shutouts); Dominic Roussel (4-5-4, 2.51 goals-against average, .923 save percentage, 1 shutout).

* Other top players: Marty McInnis, left wing (19 goals, 54 points); Tomas Sandstrom, right wing (15 goals, 32 points); Travis Green, center (13 goals, 30 points); Kevin Haller, defense (1 goal, 7 points); Jason Marshall, defense (1 goal, 8 points).


* The Red Wings' chances for a third consecutive Stanley Cup were looking doubtful. Then they made three trades March 23, picking up defenseman Chris Chelios, left wing Wendel Clark, defenseman Ulf Samuelsson and goalie Bill Ranford. They went 9-2-1 after the deals. No team has won three consecutive cups since the New York Islanders won four between 1980-83.

* Top line: Brendan Shanahan, left wing (31 goals, 58 points); Steve Yzerman, center (29 goals, 74 points); Tomas Holmstrom, right wing (13 goals, 34 points).

* Top defensive unit: Chelios (9 goals, 36 points); Nicklas Lidstrom (14 goals, 43 points).

* Goaltenders: Chris Osgood (34-25-4, 2.42 goals-against average, .910 save percentage, 3 shutouts); Ranford (3-0-1, 1.97 goals-against average, .918 save percentage).

* Other top players: Sergei Fedorov, center (26 goals, 63 points); Vyacheslav Kozlov, left wing (29 goals, 58 points); Igor Larionov, center (14 goals, 63 points); Clark, left wing (32 goals, 48 points), Larry Murphy, defense (10 goals, 52 points); Samuelsson, defense (4 goals, 12 points).


* Offense: Selanne and Kariya, the most formidable duo in the league, combined for 86 goals this season. But the Ducks are not one-line wonders. Picking up McInnis from Calgary helped give them a good second line. The Red Wings, though, are solid from their first line to their fourth. Fedorov and Clark skate on the third line these days and would be top scorers on most teams. Fedorov, Larionov and Kozlov, Detroit's three Russian players, have combined to score 45 goals in the last 30 games.

* Defense: Chelios was picked up from Chicago for a reason. His physical play has long been difficult for opponents to deal with, especially Kariya. Chelios, teamed with Lidstrom, gives the Red Wings a unit to match against Kariya, Selanne and Rucchin. The Ducks' defenders are not as well known, but they have performed above expectations this season. Olausson ranked fourth among defensemen in scoring.

* Goalies: Hebert had career bests in wins, save percentage and goals-against average. Osgood is not exactly revered in Detroit, but he will probably start the first game. Ranford was only 3-18-3 with Tampa Bay, but was undefeated in four starts with Detroit. He was Edmonton's goalie when the Oilers won the cup in 1990 and was the most valuable player of the playoffs.

* Special Teams: The Ducks had the league's top power play with 83 goals. Selanne led the league in power-play goals with 25, and points with 54. Kariya and Olausson were third and fourth in points. Detroit ranked third in penalty killing, allowing 45 goals.

* Coaching: Detroit's Scotty Bowman has won eight titles as a coach and another when he was Pittsburgh's director of personnel. His 194 playoff victories rank first and are 71 more than Al Arbour (St. Louis, New York Islanders) has in second place. It is now obvious that Craig Hartsburg was not the problem in Chicago. He was fired after the Blackhawks finished 30-39-13 last season. They were 29-41-12 this season. Hartsburg's low-key personality seemed to be just what the Ducks needed.

* Intangibles: Detroit is billed as Hockeytown and there is a lot of tradition the Ducks will have to contend with. The Red Wings also have dominated the Ducks, going 15-4-5 in their overall series. That includes a 9-1-4 record in Joe Louis Arena. "We don't have anything to lose," Selanne said. "We're here to make a surprise for people. We know what we're up against. They are the Stanley Cup champions. Let us go from there."

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