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DUCK REPORT

Overtime Failures Are Getting On Their Nerves

December 18, 2005|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

It was a simple question but one that underscored the Mighty Ducks' frustration with their inability to win overtime games.

Asked whether the shootouts had worn on him after Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Kings, Duck Coach Randy Carlyle said, "What do you think?"

The Ducks are 0-6 in games decided after regulation, including three shootout losses in which five of the eight shots Jean-Sebastien Giguere has faced have gotten past him.

Had they won half of those, they would have 37 points and sit in third place in the Pacific Division and seventh in the Western Conference.

"You add three more points in the standings, where would we be?" Carlyle said Saturday. "That's the reality that we have to look at. You can't change that, so let's not focus on it.

"All you can do is go out and prepare yourself for the next one."

*

As if trying to climb in the standings and into playoff position weren't enough of a challenge, the Ducks are also trying to hold off the resurgent San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks, who trail Anaheim by two points, have won six in a row since acquiring first-line center Joe Thornton from Boston on Nov. 30. The 6-foot-4 Thornton, known for his playmaking skills, has made an immediate difference with three goals and 11 assists in those six games.

"You've got to do whatever you can to stop him," Duck defenseman Ruslan Salei said. "Every time is a different situation. Nobody has the answers for that kind of talent."

*

TODAY

vs. San Jose, 5 p.m.

Site -- Arrowhead Pond.

Radio -- 1090.

Records -- Ducks 14-13-6, Sharks 14-12-4.

Record vs. Sharks -- 0-0-1.

Update -- Duck forward Rob Niedermayer (nine goals, 14 assists) is on pace for his biggest offensive season since 1995-96 with Florida. San Jose captain Patrick Marleau also has 14 points in the six games since Thornton's arrival.

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