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DUCKS REPORT

McInnis Doesn't Hold Anything Back in Return

November 06, 2000|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

CHICAGO — Right wing Marty McInnis returned to the lineup Sunday, a week after his headfirst crash into the end boards in Calgary, Canada. He was sidelined for three games because of a mildly sprained neck, but was reunited with center Matt Cullen and left wing Mike Leclerc to form perhaps the Ducks' best line in a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

No question, they were the Ducks' hardest-working line, combining for five of the team's 17 shots on net. McInnis scored his seventh goal of the season on a wraparound at the right goal post, which gave the Ducks a brief 2-1 lead 4:40 into the second period. McInnis is three goals shy of his total for last season, when he was slowed by a nagging groin injury that required off-season surgery.

Leclerc and Cullen set up McInnis' goal by creating havoc in front of Chicago goalie Jocelyn Thibault. McInnis picked up a loose puck near the left post, skated around the net and flicked the puck into the net from the right post to cap a wild scramble.

"Cullen's line had lots of energy, lots of chances," Coach Craig Hartsburg said. "We didn't have enough guys play like that."

Said McInnis: "I'd feel a lot better if we had won. Our line had our chances. Leclerc does a great job of getting the puck to the front of the net, causing a lot of traffic. 'Cully' and I try to pick up the pieces."

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In order to make room in the lineup for McInnis, Hartsburg scratched right wing Andrei Nazarov, who has one goal and a plus/minus rating of minus nine in 15 games.

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Defenseman Pavel Trnka, sidelined by a sprained right ankle since Oct. 8, continues to skate gingerly on his own. But there's no timetable for his return. He must first participate in a full-contact practice, which could happen later this week.

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