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DUCKS FYI

Lineup changes pay off for Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle

Tough choices by the coach work as the Ducks even the series.

May 04, 2009|Helene Elliott

DETROIT — As a coach you sometimes weigh what you see and what your gut tells you and make risky decisions.

Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle made several such moves Sunday when he shifted a struggling Bobby Ryan to the second line and benched Erik Christensen and George Parros in favor of two forwards who hadn't played in a while.

Petteri Nokelainen last played for the Ducks two weeks ago. Josh Green last played in the NHL in the 2006-07 season.

Carlyle put Nokelainen and Green with Mike Brown to form an effective fourth line and used Nokelainen to kill penalties. Those decisions had a big impact in the Ducks' 4-3 triple-overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, which sent the series to Anaheim even at 1-1.

"I didn't expect it to be this long but it's good to be back out there and it's a lot of fun playing in this league so I'm not going to take it for granted," Green said. "Hopefully we can do some damage here in the playoffs and I can make this last as long as possible."

Brown drew the penalty on Brad Stuart that led to the Ducks' second goal, their first power-play goal. Green drew the penalty on Chris Chelios that led to the Ducks' second power-play goal, which gave them a 3-2 lead.

Brown, booed lustily at Joe Louis Arena for his Game 1 hit against Detroit's Jiri Hudler, drew another penalty late in the second period when Niklas Kronwall interfered with him.

"That's basically the job of the fourth line," Green said, "to go out there and create some energy and try and draw some penalties and bang some bodies out there and try and create some energy for the other guys, and I thought we did a good job of that."

Green, a Kings draft pick in 1996, spent the 2007-08 season playing in Salzburg, Austria, and signed with the Ducks as a free agent last summer. He was with their Iowa farm team when he broke his leg Jan. 10 and missed the rest of the regular season.

"They bring a ton of energy," defenseman James Wisniewski said. "Our first line is logging a lot of minutes, but you can't look at our fourth line as slugs and people that aren't contributing. They're drawing penalties, they're creating energy for us and they're making havoc in the offensive zone."

Lineup changes

for Detroit?

Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock said he would consider changing his defense corps for Game 3 on Tuesday at Anaheim. He didn't play the 47-year-old Chelios in overtime and he could have used another pair of fresh legs.

"You don't know that the game is going into overtime -- three overtimes. If you do you might plan things differently," Babcock said.

"But I thought we got good minutes out of most of our guys."

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helene.elliott@latimes.com

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