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Stanley Cup Playoffs | DUCK REPORT

Penalty Killing Is Still Strong

May 11, 2003|Chris Foster and Helene Elliott | Times Staff Writers

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Dallas had the top power play in the playoffs after the first round.

Then the Stars played the Mighty Ducks.

Minnesota replaced the Stars as the top power play. The Wild was scoreless in five chances in a 1-0 loss to the Ducks on Saturday.

A pattern is forming.

"Our PK has been good all season," Duck defenseman Keith Carney said. "We know they have a good power play. We were really focused to do our jobs."

The Ducks ranked second in penalty killing during the regular season. They didn't miss Patric Kjellberg, a quality penalty killer who returned to Sweden before the game for family reasons.

Dan Bylsma returned to the Duck lineup, replacing Kjellberg.

Bylsma has played in only three games since Jan. 20, when he suffered a knee injury. He has been one the Ducks' best penalty killers the last three seasons. Against the Wild, Bylsma played 6 minutes 47 seconds, 4:50 killing penalties.

"I have worked hard to stay in shape and tried to stay focused," Bylsma said. "Mentally, it's tough to stay sharp. But those first four shifts felt like 10."


Another player has suggested Duck goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere's pads may not conform to NHL rules.

"His pads might be oversized," Wild winger Antti Laaksonen said.

The Dallas Stars had Giguere's pads measured in the last round.

"Oh really?" Laaksonen said. "They should have. They look to be a good size. We'll find the holes."


Duck winger Kevin Sawyer, who has not played since Dec. 19, has resumed light workouts, his first step in returning from a concussion.


The schedule for the Western Conference finals changed several times in the two days leading to Saturday's opener, primarily because ABC wanted the Ducks for its Saturday afternoon telecast.

The NHL devised several schedules, including one that would have had the Wild playing successive home games and one that would have delayed the series' start and would have had the Ducks play consecutive home games. Neither team wanted that option, so they settled on starting Saturday, even though it meant the Wild had to play its fourth game in less than six days.

"My whole thing was we've waited 10 years, let's have people come around and have fun instead of cramming everything in," Duck General Manager Bryan Murray said.


Duck defenseman Kurt Sauer, a native of St. Cloud, Minn., always welcomes the chance to play in his home state. He hadn't planned on being home for Mother's Day, but he got the chance to be with his family today to honor his mother, Peggy, who lives in Sartell, about 70 miles north of the Twin Cities.

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