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Lydman supplying surprising amount of offense

by Adam Kimelman
When you think of offensive-minded defensemen, names like Mike Green, Drew Doughty and Duncan Keith pop to mind.

Toni Lydman? The Anaheim Ducks blueliner? The 33-year-old, 10-year veteran from Lahti, Finland, who entered the 2010-11 season with 33 goals in 660 NHL games? Sorry, not on the list.

But Lydman entered Thursday's play fifth in the NHL among defensemen with 2 goals -- one in each of his first two games. He had 4 goals all of last season, and didn't net his second until March 2 -- his 46th game. He never had scored in back-to-back games, and only has one two-goal game in his career -- in the 2001-02 season.

It's even more remarkable when you consider Lydman had missed most of the preseason and the first four games of the regular season due to a mysterious case of double vision.

Finally recovered, he made his season debut Oct. 15, scoring at 9:43 of the second period to put the Ducks up 2-1 against the Thrashers en route to a 5-4 shootout victory at Honda Center.

Two nights later, he scored at 9:44 of the second period, giving the Ducks a 2-0 lead on the way to a 3-2 home victory against the Coyotes.

Lydman has played more than 21 minutes in each game, and is a plus-2 with four blocked shots and four hits. Those are the numbers people are used to seeing Lydman put up. The offense is an unexpected treat.

"It feels great," Lydman told reporters after the win against Phoenix. "If you just check my stats from previous years, I haven't been doing that too much. It's nice to put a couple in there. Especially when we win, it feels so much better."

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