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DUCK REPORT

Fedorov Is Creating Options

October 23, 2003|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

In the old days, like last season, Duck center Steve Rucchin would have been out there almost every time Patrick Marleau was on the ice, getting reacquainted with the Shark center. Hello, again, naturally.

The addition of Sergei Fedorov changed that equation, giving Duck Coach Mike Babcock another option to counter the likes of Marleau, and spreading the workload.

"Sergei has gotten better every game for us," Babcock said Tuesday night after the Ducks' 2-0 victory over the Sharks in San Jose.

"He was uncomfortable at the start, but as you can see, he's a pretty good player. Instead of worrying about getting Steve Rucchin on the ice to match up against Marleau all night like I used to, I could have Fedorov on him too. It worked out good for us.

"That makes us a lot different team. That will show over time."

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Defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski and rookie forward Joffrey Lupul were the scratches, sitting out for the first time in seven games. Taking Vishnevski's spot in the lineup was defenseman Lance Ward, who appeared in his first game.

Duck officials said both of the scratched players were healthy.

Lupul had two assists and was a minus-three, while Vishnevski had no points and was a minus-two.

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Duck left wing Craig Johnson hit a milestone in terms of longevity, playing in his 500th NHL game.

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Staff writer Chris Foster contributed to this report.

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