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Blackhawks-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHL
Blackhawks-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Chicago Blackhawks (9-13-0) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (9-11-4).

TIME: Sunday, 8 p.m. EST.

Backup goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks making the most of his time as a starter with Jean-Sebastian Giguere sidelined.

The 25-year-old netminder hopes to build on a solid performance as the Mighty Ducks look to continue their recent dominance over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Anaheim is 5-0-2 in its last seven home games against Chicago. The Ducks are also 10-1-2 at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim versus the Hawks since a 4-0 loss on Nov. 19, 1997.

In Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Western Conference-leading Detroit Red Wings, Bryzgalov won his second start in three games. He has allowed just one goal in each win.

On Friday, Bryzgalov made 28 saves against the Red Wings, including a miraculous stop against Brendan Shanahan in the first period.

"The save Bryzgalov made on Shanahan was the game-saver because it turned the tide and allowed us to recoup," Mighty Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "You could feel it on the bench. Everybody was basically going, 'Oh, no, it's in the net,' and then he pulls the thing out of the air."

Bryzgalov is 2-2-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average in his last four games after winning only one of his first nine games this season

Giguere, the 2002-03 Conn Smythe trophy winner given to the MVP of the playoffs, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday after aggravating a hamstring injury in 3-2 loss Nov. 20 to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Ducks have won two of three since an eight-game losing streak.

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have dropped back-to-back games after a three-game winning streak.

Chicago is coming off Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Mark Bell extended his goal-scoring streak to five games.

The Blackhawks killed off all nine Los Angeles power plays. But they have been short-handed a league-worst 181 times, including 32 times during 5-on-3 situations.

This was the 11th time in 22 games this season that the Blackhawks have been short-handed at least nine times. They are 6-5 in those games.

"It just seems that game after game, we're taking penalties like that," Bell said. "Either we're not getting the right calls, or we've got to smarten up. It seems like every questionable call is going against us, but we can't put it in the referees' hands. We've got to keep our sticks down like everybody else."

STANDINGS (through Nov. 26): Blackhawks - 18 points, 3rd place, 18 PB, Central Division. Mighty Ducks - 22 points, 4th place, 11 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Bell, 9 goals and 17 points; Tyler Arnason and Kyle Calder, 11 assists; Matthew Barnaby, 55 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 13 goals and 22 points; Scott Niedermayer, 13 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 49 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 26): Blackhawks - Power play: 14.1 percent (19 for 134), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (147 for 181), 20th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.5 percent (23 for 148), 22nd. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (143 for 171), tied for 8th.

GOALTENDERS: Blackhawks - Nikolai Khabibulin (7-12-0, 0 SO, 3.40 GAA); Craig Anderson (2-1-0, 0, 4.55). Mighty Ducks - Bryzgalov (3-8-0, 0, 2.77); Michael Wall (no appearances).

SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 5; Mighty Ducks, 5-3. At Chicago, Selanne and Scott Niedermayer scored power-play goals while Rob Niedermayer and Joffrey Lupul had short-handed goals.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 5-9-0 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 7-5-2 at home.

Associated Press
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