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Veterans sense urgency

February 29, 2008|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

The Ducks have a combined record of 21-7-3 during the month of March over the last two seasons, but the way February has played out in Anaheim, what's the rush?

The Ducks will try for their 10th victory of the month tonight when they play host to Calgary, a mark Anaheim has reached just three times over the last two seasons, including both marches through March. A year ago, the Ducks went 10-3-2 over the last full month of the regular season, building momentum for their run to the Stanley Cup title.

"When March comes around, you start smelling the playoffs a little bit more," Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said Thursday. "It's definitely time for everybody to step it up a notch."

The veterans seem especially cognizant of the calendar change.

"Once you see March, you start thinking April, May, June," said 37-year-old center Doug Weight.

Of course, it's no coincidence that Anaheim's best month this season coincided with the return of forward Teemu Selanne, who has six goals and 11 points in 10 games since returning from semi-retirement.

"Although we've been winning some games and we've found ways to win lately, there's things around our game that can improve," Giguere said. "Right now is the last month to work on that before the real season starts."

Weight (knee) and fellow center Todd Marchant (shoulder) said they will wait until after today's skate-around to determine if they are healthy enough to play against Calgary. Weight has been out since Feb. 8 but is confident he'll play in one of the next two games.

"This week has been great, getting over the hump week," he said.

Marchant, 34, has missed the last two games, but originally thought he might be out for an extended stretch.

"It seems to be an injury that comes back a lot further than you would have expected," he said. "In the beginning, you're like, 'Whoa,' you think it's going to be a while."



vs. Calgary, 7, FSN West

Site -- Honda Center.

Radio -- 830.

Records -- Ducks 36-23-7, Flames 33-22-9.

Record vs. Flames -- 2-1-0.

Update -- Calgary hasn't lost in regulation since a 4-2 defeat at Anaheim on Feb. 17. After allowing 10 goals on 51 shots in losses to the Kings and Ducks on consecutive nights, Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff has allowed five goals on the last 136 shots.


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