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Burke is looking for scorer

February 22, 2007|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

The need for another left wing who can put the puck in the net is becoming more urgent for the Ducks, who remain trapped in a scoring funk. They've scored two or fewer goals in regulation in 11 of the last 15 games. In the last two games against the Kings and Vancouver Canucks, they had more than 40 shots on goal but put only five in the net.

It has left the Ducks feeling a little snake bit.

"That has to change a little bit if you're going to have success in this league," center Ryan Getzlaf said Wednesday. "And I think we just need to stick with it. We don't need to get down or be negative at all."

However, General Manager Brian Burke has been on the lookout for help as Tuesday's trade deadline approaches.

Burke actively pursued Peter Forsberg and is believed to be after St. Louis forward Keith Tkachuk and, to a lesser extent, Blues teammate Bill Guerin. Tkachuk, who has had nine 30-goal seasons, has 20 goals and 43 points. Guerin leads St. Louis with 28 goals.

A source close to the situation said the Ducks are among "eight to 10 teams" interested in either and expects Tkachuk and Guerin to be moved within days. Both have no-trade clauses but would probably waive them for a trade to a Cup contender, though St. Louis is reportedly asking for a young prospect and a first-round pick for either.

Another proven finisher could make a difference in one-goal games. The Ducks won 14 of 20 in racing to a 27-4-6 start but have dropped 10 of their last 14, four of which were in overtime or via the shootout.

Scott Niedermayer said that while a deal might enhance a team's chances, it doesn't guarantee anything.

"I've been around and I've seen trades that have worked and have [seen] trades that didn't," the Ducks' captain said.

Getzlaf, while expressing confidence in the current roster, said he is confident Burke will make the right move -- if there is one.

"Burkie's made it pretty clear that he wants to win and he's going to do everything in his power to put us in a situation where we can win," Getzlaf said. "If he feels that he needs to find somebody to come in here, then he'll do that."


The Ducks conducted practice and held a skills competition in front of an estimated 12,000 third- through eighth-graders from area schools.

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