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Sizzling Selanne has Ducks flying high

by John Kreiser
Teemu Selanne has six goals and 11 points in 10 games since his return to Anaheim.
Watch Teemu Selanne highlights
Selanne returned to the Anaheim Ducks' lineup Feb. 5, and the defending Stanley Cup champions have been almost unbeatable since. Selanne had five goals and seven points last week as the Ducks won all three of their games -- improving their record since his return to 9-1-0.

The 37-year-old has six goals and 11 points in 10 games since his return, including a hat trick and two assists in Sunday's 6-3 win against Chicago. The three goals gave him 546 for his career, moving him past Maurice Richard to No. 25 on the all-time list. He also earned his career assist No. 600.
With Selanne and Scott Niedermayer back and healthy, the Ducks look like a team that's more than capable of keeping the Stanley Cup.

Who's hot -- Five players who've been producing:

Martin Brodeur -- Who needs a night off? Not Brodeur, who has played 23 straight games for New Jersey and appears to be getting better, rather than tired. He's 5-0-1 in his last six starts, allowing only 10 goals, and hasn't given up more than three in a game this month.

Rick Nash -- Nash is on track for his most productive NHL season. His 33 goals are more than he's had since 2003-04, and he's just four points shy of his career-high of 57. He has five goals and eight points in his last seven games.

Eric Staal -- Staal has rebounded from a seven-game pointless streak by going on a tear. He's had three goals and 10 points in his last seven games, with four multi-point games. His game-winning goal against Washington last Saturday was his seventh of the season, one off the League lead.

Alexander Semin -- With his ankle injuries finally healed, Semin has given Washington another scorer to go along with Alex Ovechkin. Semin had a five-game goal-scoring streak before being held scoreless Tuesday, and has scored 17 times in his last 29 games.

Roberto Luongo -- Vancouver's All-Star goaltender appears to have shaken his recent slump. He's won his last four starts and allowed just seven goals on 128 shots in that span -- including a 49-save performance in a 3-2 shootout win at Nashville.

Who's not -- Five players who've been struggling:

Kristian Huselius -- Calgary's first-line left wing can't find the net. After scoring 20 goals in his first 43 games, he has just one in his last 21 — and none in 15 games since Jan. 16.

Jason Blake -- The speedy Toronto forward is still getting lots of shots, but very few goals. He hasn't scored in 10 games, and his two assists Monday against Ottawa matched his total production for the previous nine games.

Brad Boyes -- One reason the St. Louis Blues are having trouble scoring is that Boyes has gone cold. He has a career-high 32 goals, but only two in his last 11 games — and those are his only points in that span.

Chris Mason -- Nashville's starting goaltender has been struggling. He's 0-1-2 in his last four appearances (three starts), while allowing 12 goals in just 76 shots.

Matthew Carle -- San Jose dealt for Brian Campbell at the trading deadline partly because Carle hasn't provided the offense for which the Sharks had hoped. The second-year defenseman has gone pointless in his last 13 games despite averaging nearly 19 minutes a night.

Injury news and notes -- So much for Peter Forsberg's foot problems. A week or so after it looked like Forsberg wouldn't sign with any NHL team this season, he rejoined the Colorado Avalanche, the team with which he won two Stanley Cups. The Avs also added two defensemen, bringing back Adam Foote from Columbus and acquiring Ruslan Salei from Florida. Add in the return of Joe Sakic (hernia surgery) and Paul Stastny (appendectomy and groin injury) and the Avs look like a team gearing up for a playoff run -- if they can make the postseason in the first place; they're still ninth after Tuesday's 3-2 overtime win at Calgary.

Out -- Philadelphia took another hit last weekend when center Mike Richards went down with a torn left hamstring. He's expected to miss at least another couple of weeks. … New York Rangers defenseman Paul Mara had facial surgery Monday and will be out at least two weeks. … Toronto forward Alexei Ponikarovsky will miss at least a week after injuring his ribs Saturday. … Edmonton captain Ethan Moreau will miss the rest of the season after breaking his ankle near the end of Sunday's 3-2 win against Colorado. The Oilers will also be without defenseman Ladislav Smid for at least a week due to a sprained left ankle and a bruised left knee. … Nashville forward Martin Gelinas tore the ACL in his right knee last Thursday. He'll wait 2-3 weeks for the swelling to go down before seeing if he can play through the injury or will require surgery. … Detroit lost another defenseman when Chris Chelios chipped his fibula last Friday. … Buffalo forward Michael Ryan will miss a week or two due to a groin injury sustained last Thursday. … Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin missed last weekend's swing through Southern California with back spasms. He had an MRI on Monday. … Anaheim lost forward Ryan Carter for 4-to-6 weeks when he broke his right wrist last week. He had surgery Friday. … Buffalo forward Jochen Hecht has missed the Sabres' last two games with a leg injury.

Still out -- Sorry, Pittsburgh fans: No Sidney Crosby this week. The Penguins are being extra careful as their superstar center recovers from a high ankle sprain. He's already missed almost six weeks, and the Pens say there's no date set for his return. … All-Star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit is making progress in his recovery from a sprained right knee. He may be able to skate by the end of the week and could be back within two weeks. Another injured Wing, Dominik Hasek, might be ready to play this weekend after missing a couple of weeks with a hip injury. … Boston forward Patrice Bergeron was able to skate on consecutive days, but he probably won't be back this season after suffering an early-season concussion. … Florida defenseman Mike Van Ryn, who underwent wrist surgery in December, said he hopes to be back by mid-March … The Islanders will be without center Mike Sillinger for the rest of the season. He'll undergo surgery to fix the hip problem that has sidelined him since Feb. 5. … Tampa Bay defenseman Brad Lukowich will miss another 3-to-4 weeks after undergoing surgery for his sports hernia.

Returning -- Another Penguin returning from a high ankle sprain, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, was recalled from the AHL this week, though he says he still has some pain. … Dallas defenseman Philippe Boucher -- out since Dec. 3 with a shoulder injury that required surgery -- returned Tuesday. But the Stars will be without star blueliner Sergei Zubov for at least three more weeks; Zubov had surgery last weekend to insert a screw in his broken foot. He hasn't played since Jan. 17. … Philadelphia forward Steve Downie returned Monday after missing a week with a concussion …. Patrick Eaves (shoulder) made his debut with the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Because of the injury, he hadn't played with Carolina since being acquired from Ottawa earlier this month. … Buffalo could get forward Maxim Afinogenov back as early as this weekend. He's been out since Jan. 1 with a groin tear. … The New York Islanders got defenseman Bruno Gervais back Friday after he missed two weeks with a strained oblique muscle. They also hope to get another defenseman, Brendan Witt, back by the weekend. Witt has missed more than two weeks with a sprained knee. … Los Angeles could get defenseman Rob Blake (broken foot) back this week.
The week ahead -- San Jose finishes its marathon road trip, while Ottawa and Montreal take their battle for first place in the Northeast Division to the West Coast and Nashville begins a two-week trip.

Games to watch:

San Jose at Columbus (Feb. 27) -- Brian Campbell should make his debut as a Shark while facing a Columbus roster that no longer includes Adam Foote and Sergei Fedorov.

The Penguins should have Marian Hossa in the lineup for the first time against Boston. Watch Marian Hossa highlights
Pittsburgh at Boston (Feb. 28) -- Sidney Crosby isn't playing yet, but the Penguins should have Marian Hossa in the lineup for the first time after acquiring the star forward from Atlanta on Tuesday.

New Jersey at Montreal (March 1) -- The Devils, who've jumped to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, have handled Montreal well in recent years — until blowing a 3-1 third-period lead in a 4-3 home loss Jan. 24.

Philadelphia at New York Rangers (March 2) -- The Flyers, who ended a 10-game losing streak with a Monday's win in Buffalo, come to Madison Square Garden for NBC's Game of the Week.

Ottawa at Anaheim (March 3) -- The Senators begin their West Coast swing with their first trip to Honda Center since losing Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final last June.
Tough week ahead:

Atlanta Thrashers -- Atlanta has a home game Thursday against the Islanders, then plays Saturday at Boston and Sunday at Pittsburgh, capping four games in six nights and a stretch of eight games in eight cities in 17 days.

Los Angeles Kings -- The Kings starts a four-in-six trip Thursday night in Edmonton, followed by games at Colorado, Minnesota and St. Louis.

San Jose Sharks -- San Jose finishes its two-week road trip with three games in four nights in the Midwest, then comes home to play Montreal on Monday night with just one day of rest.

Easy week ahead:

Anaheim Ducks -- Anaheim should be well-rested for Friday's home game with Calgary after four days off; after that, they get two more days off before hosting Ottawa on Monday.

Carolina Hurricanes -- The 'Canes host the Rangers on Thursday and Tampa Bay on Saturday -- their only games in an eight-day stretch -- to cap a six-game homestand.

Dallas Stars -- Dallas catches a breather with just two games, both at home, in an eight-day span.

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