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DUCK REPORT

This Line Has Been Worth Repeating

January 28, 2002

There haven't been many good things for the Mighty Ducks to point to this season, but the line combination of Denny Lambert, Marc Chouinard and Dan Bylsma has been one of them.

That trio struck again Saturday in a 3-1 victory over Nashville. Lambert drove to the net and collided with Bylsma and the two went down. Bylsma pushed the puck out to his right, swung his stick along the ice and ... presto ... the Ducks had the tying goal.

It was the seventh goal this season for Bylsma. His previous best was three.

The previous night in a 6-1 victory over Dallas, Chouinard picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, pushed forward and fired a shot in for his fourth goal.

Even on nights when they don't score goals, they usually have solid shifts from start to finish. Bylsma and Chouinard are also two of the team's best penalty killers.

"They are courageous people," Coach Bryan Murray said. "They jump on you and hit and they get bumped around and punched in the face and they keep playing the same way."

And score big goals.

Twice this season that line has provided the key goals in victories over Phoenix. Bylsma and Chouinard scored in a 3-2 overtime victory Oct. 24. Lambert scored his only goal and Chouinard added a second--with Bylsma assisting on both goals--in a 4-0 victory Dec. 23.

"We've been talking a lot about getting the puck to the net and banging home rebounds and banging home scrambles," Bylsma said "I don't think it's any secret for the three of us as a line, that's where success is going to be."

*

The Ducks' top line has had more success since Mike Leclerc was inserted on the left wing with Andy McDonald and Paul Kariya.

Leclerc set up Kariya for a goal against Dallas. Kariya returned the favor against Nashville, as he raced from the Duck zone down the right and waited ... and waited ... and waited before slipping a backhand pass to Leclerc, who had an open net to shoot at.

TONIGHT

at St. Louis, 5 PST, Fox Sports Net 2

Site--Savvis Center.

Radio--XTRA (690).

Records--Ducks 17-29-6-3, Blues 28-14-6-3.

Record vs. Blues--0-1-0-0.

Update--The Ducks have won three consecutive games, matching their season high. After winning 10 games in a row, the Blues lost consecutive games to Chicago and Detroit.

Chris Foster

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