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DUCK REPORT

Lines Get Mixed and Matched

October 12, 2003|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

Mighty Duck Coach Mike Babcock, whose team has scored only two goals in two games, will juggle his lines tonight against Phoenix.

Vaclav Prospal and Petr Sykora will skate with center Sergei Fedorov.

"Obviously, if it's not broke, you don't fix it," Babcock said. "We're trying to find our game and find ourselves. I would like to get these guys off the schneid."

The move works well for center Steve Rucchin, who had been playing between Sykora and Prospal. He will skate with Rob Niedermayer and Jason Krog, two solid checkers, and will face the Coyotes' top line.

Rucchin and Niedermayer were teamed up similarly at the end of last season.

"Rucchin, Prospal and Sykora dominated in many ways" against Nashville on Thursday, Babcock said. "But the identity of our team and the way our team needs to play is to have Rooch playing against the other team's best players at home. Pete and [Prospal] don't fit that role.

"We don't have anything working as yet. The reality is we gave up 14 scoring chances [in Dallas on Wednesday] and 18 [against Nashville]. We gave up too many freebies."

*

Mike Leclerc and Dan Bylsma, both recovering from knee surgery, will fly to Cleveland to have MRIs and be checked out by the doctor who did their surgeries. Both could receive permission to increase their workouts.

Leclerc and Bylsma are still expected to be out until at least December.

*

TODAY

vs. Phoenix, 5 p.m.

Channel 9

Site -- Arrowhead Pond.

Radio -- XPRS (1090).

Records -- Ducks 0-2; Coyotes 1-0.

Record vs. Coyotes (2002-03) -- 2-2-1.

Update -- Jean-Sebastien Giguere starts in goal for the Ducks. Phoenix's Mike Sillinger, who is recovering from hernia surgery, is out at least another week.

Tickets -- (877) 945-3946.

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