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Mighty Ducks-Blues Preview

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Mighty Ducks-Blues Preview

GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (16-15-6) at St. Louis Blues (9-22-4).

TIME: Saturday, 6 p.m. EST.

Both the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the St. Louis Blues look to rebound from shutout losses when they meet for the fourth and final time this season.

Anaheim continued its inconsistent play with a 1-0 loss to Columbus on Wednesday. Most discouraging for the Mighty Ducks is that the only goal of the game was scored when Anaheim's Teemu Selanne tried to stop the puck, but accidentally knocked it into his own goal.

"I realized he didn't see it and I tried to put my stick behind him," said Selanne, who has 18 goals and 12 assists this season. "Then I accidentally hit his pads and pushed it more into the goal. It's a tough break, especially when we had so many chances."

Anaheim has alternated wins and losses in each of its last nine games overall, and has dropped three in a row on the road.

The Mighty Ducks were shut out for the second time this season one game after tying their season-high goal total in a 6-3 win over the Blues Dec. 21. Although Anaheim had a season-high 40 penalty minutes Wednesday, the penalty-killing unit killed off all 10 Columbus power plays.

"It seems for whatever reason, if we take our free hand off our stick, no matter what happens we got a penalty for it," said Mighty Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, whose team had a week off between its last two games.

Giguere was a bright spot Wednesday, making a season-high 41 saves for the Ducks, who are 5-4-2 in the month of December.

The Blues were shut out for the first time this season, 3-0 by Marty Turco and the Dallas Stars on Thursday. St. Louis was whistled for a season-high 50 penalty minutes which translated into three power-play goals for the Stars.

"There was a lot of passion in this game," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "I thought it was an entertaining game for the fans and the referees took it over."

St. Louis, last in the NHL with 22 points, has traded wins and losses in its last six games and has only recorded consecutive wins only once this season.

The Mighty Ducks will be making the second stop on a five-game road trip while the Blues will start a three-game homestand before playing seven of eight on the road.

STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 38 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Pacific Division. Blues - 22 points, 5th place, 31 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 18 goals and 30 points; Scott Niedermayer, 21 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 69 PIM. Blues - Mike Sillinger and Dean McAmmond, 11 goals; Doug Weight, 22 assists and 28 points; Jamal Mayers, 88 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.1 percent (34 for 225), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (208 for 248), 10th. Blues - Power play: 14.2 percent (35 for 247), 27th. Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (181 for 223), 19th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Giguere (10-6-6, 2.75 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (6-9-0, 2.47). Blues - Jason Bacashihua (3-3-0, 3.40); Curtis Sanford (3-5-0, 2 SO, 2.99).

SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 21, 2005; Mighty Ducks, 6-3. At Anaheim, Calif., Andy McDonald had two goals and an assist to lead the Ducks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 3-9-3 on the road; Blues - 4-12-2 at home.


Associated Press

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