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SERIES REPORT

Babcock Calls on Olausson

May 06, 2003|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

These may not be desperate times. And this didn't qualify as a desperate measure. But Mighty Duck Coach Mike Babcock tried to pump life into an inert power play for Monday's game against the Dallas Stars.

Defenseman Fredrik Olausson was put in the lineup to play exclusively on the power play, which began Monday's game three for 38 overall and three for 24 in the series with Dallas.

The Ducks dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Winger Marc Chouinard, who had played the previous nine playoff games, was a healthy scratch.

"It's a very limited role," said Olausson, 36, a 17-season veteran. "It's great to get a chance to play. This is an exciting time of the year."

Olausson was signed as a free agent to help the power play, but has struggled much of the season. He had two goals and eight points in 47 regular-season games. He was a healthy scratch 22 of the final 33 regular-season games, as well as all nine playoff games before Monday.

A year ago, Olausson played sparingly during the season with Detroit, then made the lineup after the Red Wings had lost their first two playoff games against Vancouver. He scored two goals and had six points in 21 playoff games, helping the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup.

He had a game-winning overtime goal in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against Colorado.

The Ducks had six power-play chances in Saturday's 4-1 loss to Dallas. They did not have a shot on goal on four of them.

"Things are pretty simple on the power play," Olausson said. "You work real hard and you get the puck to the net."

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The long-term effects of this series will certainly be felt in years to come whenever the Ducks and Stars play.

"This is how rivalries are built," Babcock said. "You get to know each other over a series. They hate you. You hate them. You're playing for something special here."

The physical play has increased, which only fans the flames.

"Guys are starting to get on my nerves a little bit in front of the net," Duck goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "The intensity is only going to go up.

"This is how rivalries get going. Guys are playing with a lot of energy out there.

"You start to hate each other."

Duck defenseman Keith Carney knows how that can linger, having seen it firsthand when he was traded to Phoenix the season after the Ducks had beaten the Coyotes in the first round.

"When I played with Phoenix, any time we played the Ducks it was always, 'We got to get even with those.... ' "

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Dallas winger Scott Young did not make the trip. He missed Saturday's game with what was called an "upper body injury."

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