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Mighty Ducks-Red Wings Preview

GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (2-3-1) at Detroit Red Wings (6-1-0).

TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Possibly missing two of their top centers, the rolling Detroit Red Wings will look for another solid performance from goalie Manny Legace when they take on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman sat out Monday's 3-2 overtime victory over San Jose with a groin injury, and it's uncertain if he'll be able to come back for this contest.

Fellow center Kris Draper is also a question mark after being hit in the right eye with a puck in Monday's game. Draper's eye was bruised and swollen nearly shut, but if the swelling and fluid levels decrease, he could play Friday.

Draper says he now will force himself to get used to wearing a visor on his helmet.

"This is different, it's not just about me anymore," he said. "All of a sudden you look at your kids and they look back at you and they're squinting and trying to find their dad behind the mask he's wearing right now. ... That's something that has hit home the last couple of days."

Legace, meanwhile, has continued to play well despite new NHL rules which have led to more offense. Through Wednesday's games, Legace had a 1.99 goals-against average, lowest among goalies that have faced at least 130 shots. He's started all seven of Detroit's games, allowing a total of four goals in the last three.

The seven-year veteran made 26 saves Monday as Detroit won its third in a row.

"I thought he was excellent tonight in the early going, when he had to be," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

Unlike Legace, Jean-Sebastien Giguere has struggled and is now injured. He had to leave Wednesday's 3-2 loss to St. Louis with a groin strain at 16:55 of the second period. However, he hopes to play Friday.

Giguere had given up a total of 10 goals in his previous three starts, and was pulled midway through the third period of Sunday's 4-1 loss to Minnesota.

Wednesday's defeat saw backup goalie Ilya Bryzgalov give up the go-ahead goal with 56 seconds to play.

"We're finding ways to lose instead of finding ways to win," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.

Ducks center Sergei Fedorov may not be available to play against his former team, having missed the last three games with a groin strain.

Anaheim has won only once in its last 14 trips to Detroit (1-12-1).

STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 5 points, 5th place, 7 PB, Pacific Division. Red Wings - 12 points, 1st place (tied), Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Joffrey Lupul, 4 goals; Rob Niedermayer, 5 assists; Lupul and Niedermayer, 6 points; Kip Brennan and Todd Fedoruk, 14 PIM. Red Wings - Mikael Samuelsson, 5 goals; Jason Williams, 8 assists; Henrik Zetterberg, 9 points; Brendan Shanahan, 19 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 19): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 10.0 percent (4 for 40), 25th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 75.6 percent (34 for 45), 28th. Red Wings - Power play: 25.0 percent (11 for 44), 3rd (tied). Penalty killing: 93.2 percent (41 for 44), 3rd.

GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Giguere (2-2-1, 0 SO, 2.95 GAA); Bryzgalov (0-1-0, 0, 3.24). Red Wings - Legace (6-1-0, 1, 1.99); Jim Howard (no appearances).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: 2-1-1.

LAST MEETING: March 21, 2004; Mighty Ducks, 8-6. At Anaheim, Calif., Fedorov scored twice, including the go-ahead goal on a power play seven minutes into the third period. Giguere tied a franchise record for a regular-season game with 51 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 1-1-0 on the road; Red Wings - 3-1-0 at home.

Associated Press
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