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Red Wings-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHL
Red Wings-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Detroit Red Wings (16-5-2) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (8-11-4).

TIME: Friday, 4 p.m. EST.

Mike Babcock led the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to the Stanley Cup finals in 2003. Now, he's looking to do the same for the Detroit Red Wings.

Babcock returns to Anaheim for the first time when his Western Conference-leading Red Wings face the slumping Mighty Ducks.

Babcock coached the Mighty Ducks in 2002-03 and 2003-04, guiding them to a surprising Stanley Cup finals appearance in his first season with the team. The Mighty Ducks lost the series in seven games to the New Jersey Devils.

Babcock, hired by Detroit in July, compiled a 69-76-19 record during two seasons in Anaheim. His Red Wings beat the Mighty Ducks 3-2 in Detroit on Oct. 21 in his first meeting against his former team.

"It wasn't the same as usual," he said. "But once the game starts and you're playing, you just want to win the game."

Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over visiting Colorado on Wednesday, two days after defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench in the first period of Monday's game against Nashville which was eventually canceled.

The team announced to the crowd Monday night that Fischer had a seizure, but Babcock later said Fischer's heart had stopped.

"The doctors have told him that it's a minimum of four to six weeks with no physical activity," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. "Obviously, they'll continue to monitor and continue to gather information. Still, as of right now, we still do not have a definitive reason."

The Red Wings placed Fischer on injured reserve Wednesday and recalled defenseman Kyle Quincey from Grand Rapids of the AHL. Fischer was released from the hospital Wednesday and was resting at home.

"We see his locker there and know that he'd like to be part of this," said Dan Cleary, who had a goal and an assist. "We just went out and dug down."

Mikael Samuelsson had two goals and two assists for the Red Wings, who had gone 0-3-1 since beating Minnesota on Nov. 11. Samuelsson has 11 goals, one more than the season high he set in 2002-03 with the Rangers and Penguins.

"He's got a great shot. He's big and strong and knows how to hang onto the puck," Cleary said. "Now, I don't expect anything less."

The Mighty Ducks lost for the ninth time in 10 games on Wednesday, falling 3-1 to Dallas.

"We've got to get more people involved and play four lines," coach Randy Carlyle said. "We had our chances, but we didn't get the job done."

Anaheim played without rugged forward Todd Fedoruk, who was suspended for three games without pay Wednesday by the NHL a day after he drew a match penalty for a hit on Coyotes center Petr Nedved.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has missed four of the last five games with a strained hamstring, did not play and was placed on injured reserve Wednesday along with right wing Petr Sykora (groin). Backup Ilya Bryzgalov, who has lost eight of 10 decisions this season, will see the bulk of the playing time in Giguere's absence.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 24): Red Wings - 34 points, 1st place, Central Division. Mighty Ducks - 20 points, 4th place (tied), 11 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 13 goals; Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams, 16 assists; Datsyuk, 25 points; Chris Chelios, 56 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 12 goals and 21 points; Scott Niedermayer, 12 assists; Fedoruk, 49 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 24): Red Wings - Power play: 23.8 percent (32 for 134), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent (120 for 142), 7th (tied). Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.1 percent (22 for 145), 23rd. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (139 for 166), 12th.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (13-4-0, 2 SO, 2.19 GAA); Chris Osgood (3-1-2, 2.97). Mighty Ducks - Bryzgalov (2-8-0, 2.95); Michael Wall (no appearances).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 21; Red Wings, 3-2. At Detroit, Datsyuk, Robert Lang and Samuelsson scored power-play goals as Babcock beat his former team.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 7-2-1 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 6-5-2 at home.

Associated Press
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