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Strong Finish Would Be a King-Size Boost

April 01, 2001|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

Given the way this season has gone, you might think the only people rooting for the Ducks during the final week of the regular season would be the Kings and their fans.

After all, the last-place Ducks play host to each of the three teams the Kings are battling with for a Western Conference playoff spot. Tonight it's Vancouver. Friday it's Phoenix. On April 8 it's San Jose.

The Ducks also play Wednesday at Denver against the Colorado Avalanche, the team the Kings could end up playing in the opening round of the playoffs.

Incentive doesn't appear to be a problem for the Ducks, who set a goal of having a .500 or better record after the All-Star break. After Friday's 2-2 tie against the Canucks in Vancouver, the Ducks are 8-10-4-1 in 23 games since Feb. 4.

Plus, the Ducks need to win three of their final four to avoid having the fewest victories in a full season in their eight-season history. They also need three points to avoid having the fewest points in a season in club history. The 1997-98 team was 26-43-13 for 65 points.


vs. Vancouver, 5, Channel 9

* Site--Arrowhead Pond.

* Radio--XTRA (690).

* Records--Ducks 24-39-10-5, Canucks 35-25-11-7.

* Record vs. Canucks--0-2-1.

* Update--Left wing Paul Kariya rebounded from a four-game scoreless streak with four goals in his previous two games, including three in Thursday's 7-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Jean-Sebastien Giguere is expected to make his 22nd consecutive start in goal, one shy of Guy Hebert's franchise record set Feb. 5-March 26, 1997. Coach Guy Charron said before the San Jose game that he anticipated starting Giguere the rest of the season. Giguere made 31 saves in Friday's tie against the Canucks. Andrew Cassels and Markus Naslund, Vancouver's top two scorers, are sidelined because of injuries. Cassels has a sprained ankle, Naslund a broken leg.

* Tickets--(714) 703-2545.

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