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DUCK REPORT

Psychological Game Seems to Be Stars' Calling Card

May 05, 2003|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

There has been a running theme in the Dallas Stars' approach to the Western Conference semifinal series, at least in the eyes of Duck General Manager Bryan Murray.

Murray is more concerned about how the game is being played off the ice. Even before the series began, Claude Lemieux was complaining about the size of goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere's equipment. After Game 2, Mike Modano complained about the Ducks' use of sticks after a 4-3 Duck victory.

Star General Manager Doug Armstrong chimed in Saturday, saying that Modano needed the same special treatment the Ducks' Paul Kariya gets from game officials.

"Let's be fair about what this is about," Murray said. "Every time Dallas loses in the series, they complain about the officiating."

Kariya, however, refused to rise to the bait.

"Everyone has the right to say whatever they want," Kariya said. "I know what these things are about in the playoffs. My focus is on the next game."

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Of course, a quick way for the Ducks to respond to physical play would be to score a power-play goal.

The Ducks had six power plays Saturday and were not only outshot, 4-3, during them, they were outscored, 1-0. Dallas rookie Niko Kapanen scored a short-handed goal.

The Ducks are three for 38 on the power play in the playoffs.

"I don't think we've been very poised on the power play," Kariya said. "You score power-play goals by getting people in front of the net, get second and third chances. We haven't been able to set up and make the plays to get those."

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The Stars have two mysterious injuries, which are common during the playoffs. Right wing Scott Young is questionable because of an "upper body injury" and defenseman Darryl Sydor sat out the last half of the third period after limping to the dressing room.

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While Kapanen has two goals and one assist in the series, Duck rookie Stanislav Chistov has been shut out. The line of Chistov, Samuel Pahlsson and Steve Thomas scored four goals against Detroit in the first round. They have none against Dallas.

The Duck offense overall has gone dormant. It has scored only one goal in the last three games of the series, although one was enough for a Game 4 victory.

"We need everyone to contribute," Coach Mike Babcock said.

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Electronic media question of the day:

A television reporter to the Ducks' Adam Oates, "You lead 3-2 in the series, do you wish the roles were reversed?"

A perplexed Oates responded: "Why would we?"

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