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'Small' McDonald Is Making a Big Impact

January 21, 2002

Center Andy McDonald was the one thing the Mighty Ducks can remember fondly from a lost weekend in Edmonton and Calgary.

There were no victories to look back on, but back-to-back losses to the Oilers and Flames can't be laid on McDonald's doorstep. Not even team captain Paul Kariya created so many scoring chances.

Only exceptional goaltending by the Oilers' Tommy Salo kept McDonald from scoring Friday. Roman Turek could not deny him the following night.

The diminutive McDonald lurked in the slot, took a pass from Oleg Tverdovsky, and zipped a shot into the upper left corner of the net, giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the first period.

He had three shots in the first period, all good chances. He had six in Friday's game, including five in the second period that took acrobatic saves by Salo to keep out.

"He's a good, small player, no question about it," Coach Bryan Murray said. "Maybe he's more than a good small player. Maybe he's just a good player. You can take the qualifier off Andy McDonald.

"He was the best player the last two nights for us."

McDonald has performed well centering the Ducks' top line with Kariya and a winger-to-be-named most nights. He has four goals and 15 points in 23 games since being recalled from minor-league Cincinnati.

His goal Saturday gave him four points in the last six games. "I'm trying to stay positive because we're doing the right things to get chances now," McDonald said. "It's bad news because we're not scoring. We got to turn those chances into goals."

McDonald's speed has been a good fit on the top line with Kariya and his size has not been much of an issue.

He battled Calgary's Robyn Regehr throughout Saturday's game, holding his own in a mismatch. McDonald is generously listed at 5 feet 10, 186 pounds. Regehr is 6-3, 226 pounds.

"He got his face rubbed by Regehr two or three times," Murray said. "But the kid never quit. I thought he was tenacious. He created all the scoring chances that line got against Edmonton and Calgary. He battles in the corners and behind the net."


vs. Kings, 7:30 p.m.

Fox Sports Net 2

Site--Arrowhead Pond.

Radio--XTRA (710), KSPN (1110).

Records--Ducks 14-28-6-3, Kings 21-18-7-2.

Record vs. Kings--0-1-1-1.

Update--The Ducks are 1-9-1-0 in their last 11 games. It took 90 points to make the playoffs in the Western Conference last season. For the Ducks to get to 90 points they can't lose more than four of their last 31 games. The Kings are 7-2 in their last nine games, but are coming off a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders. King defenseman Mathieu Schneider has no goals and one assist and Ziggy Palffy has four goals and seven points in nine games since they returned from injuries.

Chris Foster

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