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Mighty Ducks Playbook: Road to the Stanely Cup 2004
Sabres-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Buffalo Sabres (3-4-0-0) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (2-4-0-1).

TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

After enduring their worst start in franchise history, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks go for their third straight victory as they face the Buffalo Sabres at the Arrowhead Pond.

The defending Western Conference champion Ducks opened 0-4-0-1 before a 2-0 win at San Jose on Tuesday, then a 4-3 overtime victory over visiting Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the NHL's playoff MVP last season, made 32 saves for his first win of the season, and Rob Niedermayer, Sergei Fedorov, Vaclav Prospal and Petr Sykora scored as Anaheim began a three-game homestand.

It was Fedorov's first goal of the season and his first since joining Anaheim in the offseason. The center, who left Detroit in July to sign a five-year, $40 million contract with the Ducks, did not have a goal after 22 shots on net over the first six games.

Fedorov, however, is tied with Sandis Ozolinsh with a team-high five points, and has earned a point in each of the last three games.

Fedorov has 27 points in 22 career games against the Sabres.

Buffalo will try to move to .500 on the season after its 5-1 victory at Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Sabres, who scored just four goals in their previous three games, improved to 2-2 on their six-game road trip.

Buffalo outshot the Kings 35-25, the first time it has outshot an opponent in seven games this season.

Taylor Pyatt had two goals, Curtis Brown added a goal and an assist, and Miroslav Satan and Chris Taylor also scored for Buffalo. Chris Drury had two assists, and now leads the team with six points.

Drury has a five-game point streak.
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NHL Season Game Final Score
for 10.22.03

OT GAME

ANAHEIM 4

Philadelphia 3

NHL Season score: 2-4-0-1
Total NHL Points: 5
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Flyers-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (2-1-2-0) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1-4-0-1).

TIME: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks finally got their first win of the season.

Now they'll try to win one in front of their home crowd as they open a three-game stand against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Anaheim began defense of its Western Conference title with five straight losses, including an overtime defeat, before finally breaking into the win column with a 2-0 victory at San Jose on Tuesday.

The Ducks' three points are two off last season's pace, when they had a 2-3-1 record after six games.

Fans at the Arrowhead Pond have had little to cheer about as Anaheim has dropped its first three at home, scoring in just one of those games -- Sunday's 4-3 overtime defeat to Boston.

The Ducks have been outscored 9-3 on home ice.

In Tuesday's victory, Sandis Ozolinsh and Petr Sykora scored, Andy McDonald had two assists and backup goalie Martin Gerber made 34 saves for his second career shutout.

Sergei Fedorov had his fourth assist of the season, and leads the Ducks with four points.

Fedorov has enjoyed facing the Flyers during his career, amassing 25 points in 20 games.

While the Ducks left Carolina (0-2-2-0) as the only team in the NHL without a win this season, the Flyers come in off their first loss, a 4-0 setback at Los Angeles on Tuesday. Philadelphia entered the game 2-0-2.

The Flyers were without left wing Simon Gagne, who sat out with a bruised right shoulder. He was injured in Saturday's win at Phoenix, when Shane Doan checked him into the boards from behind. His status for Wednesday's game is unknown.

John LeClair, out with a broken foot, is still sore and won't be back in the lineup until next weekend at the earliest.

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STANDINGS: Flyers - 6 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Atlantic Division. Mighty Ducks - 3 points, 4th place (tied), 5 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Mark Recchi, 3 goals and 5 points; Recchi, Justin Williams, Joni Pitkanen, Jeremy Roenick, Eric Desjardins, Tony Amonte and Sami Kapanen, 2 assists; Keith Primeau and Todd Fedoruk, 17 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Steve Rucchin and Rob Niedermayer, 2 goals; Fedorov, 4 assists and 4 points; Todd Simpson, 20 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 20): Flyers - Power play: 24 percent (6 for 25), 6th in NHL (tied). Penalty killing: 90.5 percent (19 for 21), 7th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.8 percent (3 for 19), 17th. Penalty killing: 76.5 percent (13 for 17), 27th.

GOALTENDERS: Flyers - Jeff Hackett (2-1-1, 2 SO, 1.96 GAA); Robert Esche (0-0-1, 0, 2.77). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (0-4-0, 0, 2.73); Gerber (1-1-0, 1, 1.53).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 3; Flyers, 1-0. At Anaheim, Keith Primeau scored a power play goal in the first period and Esche made 28 saves as the Flyers snapped Anaheim's club-record six-game home winning streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 1-1-1-0 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 0-2-0-1 at home.
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NHL Season Game Final Score
for 10.21.03

ANAHEIM 2
San Jose 0

NHL Season score: 1-4-0-1
Total NHL Points: 3
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Mighty Ducks-Sharks Preview

GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (0-4-0-1) at San Jose Sharks (1-3-1-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

After coming within a game of winning the Stanley Cup last season, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks aren't off to the start they had hoped for.

The Ducks remain winless after five games as they head to San Jose to take on the Sharks.

Following back-to-back shutouts against Phoenix and Ottawa the Ducks went into overtime against Boston on Sunday but suffered a 4-3 setback for their fifth straight loss to start the season.

Vaclav Prospal had a goal and an assist and Sergei Fedorov had two assists but it wasn't enough to keep Anaheim from opening a season with five straight losses for the first time in the franchise's 11-year history and matching the longest losing streak of last season.

The Ducks lost five straight from Dec. 26, 2002 through Jan. 3 but went 25-12-3-3 after the slide en route to their Stanley Cup finals appearance. The Ducks worst five-game start prior to this season came when they went 1-4 to open the 1995-96 campaign.

Anaheim was in position for the win Sunday with a 3-1 lead in the second period, but turnovers in the neutral zone helped the Bruins rally to force the extra period.

"The reality is, they scored four times on turnovers," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "You can't turn the puck over like that. I don't care if they beat you, but when you beat yourself, that's a terribly unacceptable thing."

On the plus side, the Ducks' offense seemed to come alive after scoring just two goals in the first four games. Anaheim extended its scoring drought to 161:18 before Steve Rucchin tallied the first of his two goals with one second left in the first period.

"At times, you might try to press a bit when things aren't going well. But we definitely have to get that out of our heads right now, because we're not going to turn things around unless we stick with our game plan," Rucchin said.

The Sharks' offense is struggling as well with just one goal in the last two games after a 4-1 home loss to Ottawa on Saturday kept them winless on their current five-game homestand. San Jose skated to a scoreless tie with Philadelphia on Thursday.

San Jose extended it's scoreless skid to more than 154 minutes before Marco Sturm's scored a power-play goal with 11:08 left Saturday.

"We've got to get better," Sharks captain Mike Ricci said. "You can't put it behind you and say it's bad luck. We've got to get more people at the net. We haven't won the battle at the net, and that's why we're not scoring. We need to create ugly opportunities, and we'll get a break."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STANDINGS (through Oct. 19): Mighty Ducks - 1 point, 5th place, Pacific Division. Sharks - 3 points, 4th place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Rob Niedermayer, 2 goals and 2 points; Sandis Ozolinsh, Joffrey Lupul, Fedorov and Stanislav Chistov, 1 assist; Todd Simpson, 20 PIM. Sharks - Alyn McCauley, 2 goals; Vincent Damphousse, 3 assists; Alyn McCauley and Vincent Damphousse, 3 points; Rob Davison, 19 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 19): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.8 percent (3 for 19), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 76.5 percent (13 for 17), 27th. Sharks - Power play: 20 percent (5 for 25), 11th. Penalty killing: 78.3 percent (18 for 23), 24th.

GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (0-3-0, 0 SO, 2.35 GAA); Martin Gerber (0-1-0, 0, 3.05). Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (0-3-1, 0, 2.95); Vesa Toskala (1-0-0, 0, 2.00).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 3-2-0-0.

LAST MEETING: March 22; Ducks, 3-2, OT. At San Jose, Calif., Niclas Havelid scored with 3:27 left in overtime and Paul Kariya had three assists as the Ducks rallied from a two-goal deficit for the win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 0-2-0-0 on the road; Sharks - 0-1-1-0 at home.
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NHL Season Game Final Score
for 10.19.03

OT GAME

Anaheim 3
BOSTON 4

NHL Season score: 0-4-0-1
Total NHL Points: 1
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Bruins-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Boston Bruins (2-1-2-0) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (0-4-0-0).

TIME: Sunday, 8 p.m. EDT.

The only team in the NHL without a point this season, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks will try to end the worst start in franchise history as they host the Boston Bruins.

After reaching the Stanley Cup finals last season, the Ducks have lost their first four games -- the worst start in their 11-year history. They had only one losing streak of four or more games last season, a five-game slide from Dec. 26-Jan. 3. This is the first time since then that they have lost more than two in a row.

"When you dig yourself a hole like we have, sometimes it takes you more than one game to dig out of it," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said.

"We have two options. We can hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves or we can get better again Sunday and take it out on Boston."

In its first four games, Anaheim has mustered only two goals, both by Rob Niedermayer, who joined the team in mid-March and had two goals in 12 games before the Ducks made their pulsating playoff run.

The Mighty Ducks haven't scored in their last two games, including Friday's 3-0 loss to Ottawa when they were booed off their home ice by 13,885 fans.

The Ducks, who also lost to Phoenix 2-0 last Sunday, hadn't been blanked in consecutive regular-season games since Jan. 12-14, 2001, by Buffalo and Carolina.

"Once the first one goes in, I'm sure it's going to be a relief for all of us," Anaheim's Petr Sykora said. "We have a great group of people here, so I don't have any doubts in my mind that we're going to get out of this. Once we get that first win under our belts, it's all going to turn around for us. I really believe that."

The Bruins rallied from three goals down to win 4-3 at Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Rookie Patrice Bergeron scored his first NHL goal with 2:32 left in the third period to tie the score, and Mike Knuble got the game-winner 44 seconds later.

Felix Potvin, facing the Kings for the first time since leaving as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, recorded his first victory for the Bruins. He made 15 saves.

Sandy McCarthy and Brian Rolston also scored for the Bruins, who surrendered three power-play goals for the third time in their first five games.

Boston is unbeaten in its last three games (2-0-1).

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STANDINGS: Bruins - 6 points, 2nd place (tied), 1 PB, Northeast Division. Mighty Ducks - 0 points, 5th place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Brian Rolston, 3 goals; Joe Thornton and Glen Murray, 3 assists; Rolston and Thornton, 4 points; Travis Green, 12 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Rob Niedermayer, 2 goals and 2 points; four with 1 assist; Todd Simpson, 20 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 17): Bruins - Power play: 6.3 percent (1 for 16), 27th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 71.4 percent (15 for 21), 27th (tied). Mighty Ducks - Power play: 6.3 percent (1 for 16), 26th (tied). Penalty killing: 81.3 percent (13 for 16), 19th.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Potvin (1-1-1, 3.64 GAA); Andrew Raycroft (1-0-1, 1 SO, 0.83 GAA); Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (0-3-0, 2.36); Martin Gerber (0-1-0, 3.10).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 31, 2002; Mighty Ducks, 4-1. At Boston, Giguere made 26 saves and Paul Kariya recorded his eighth career hat trick and also had an assist for the Ducks. Jozef Stumpel scored for Boston, which had an eight-game unbeaten streak snapped.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 2-1-1-0 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 0-2-0-0 at home.
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NHL Season Game 4 Final Score
for 10.17.03

Anaheim 0
OTTAWA 3

NHL Season score: 0-4-0-0
Total NHL Points: 0
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Senators-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Ottawa Senators (1-1-0-1) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (0-3-0-0).

TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are finding out that last season's success won't get them anything in 2003-04.

Anaheim hopes to avoid the worst start in franchise history when the Ottawa Senators make their only appearance of the season at the Arrowhead Pond.

After reaching the Stanley Cup finals in 2002-03, expectations were high in Anaheim this season despite the departures of Paul Kariya and Adam Oates.

Those expectations seemed warranted after the Mighty Ducks added high-scoring forwards Sergei Fedorov and Vaclav Prospal, but Anaheim has lost three straight to match the 1998-99 club for the poorest start in team history.

The Mighty Ducks, the only Western Conference team without a win, have scored two goals in three games.

"We've got to stop living in the past," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "They put the (Western Conference championship) banner up, and it's time to move on. That's the past. This year is this year. I thought the GM did a real good job during the offseason, and we've got to respond."

Fedorov, signed to a five-year, $40 million contract, and Prospal, signed to a five-year, $16.5 million deal, are expected to more than offset the losses of Kariya and Oates, but neither has registered a point.

Rob Niedermayer has scored both goals for Anaheim this season.

"We're definitely going to have to correct this problem pretty soon," center Steve Rucchin said. "This Western Conference is just too tough to fall behind the 8-ball."

The Ducks were unable to get any of their 31 shots past Phoenix goalie Sean Burke on Monday and lost their home opener 2-0.

Anaheim hopes to get a boost Friday with the return of speedy forward Andy McDonald, who will make his season debut after recovering from post-concussion syndrome. McDonald, who had 10 goals and 21 points in 46 games last season, figures to skate on a line with Fedorov and right wing Petr Sykora.

The Senators opened a three-game road trip Wednesday at Los Angeles and allowed three power-play goals in a 4-3 loss.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson scored twice on the power play for Ottawa.

"Right now we're not as good as last year and we haven't played a solid game in the first three," Alfredsson said. "We're still not quite clicking as lines and doing the things that made us successful."

With backup goalie Martin Prusek making his first appearance of the season Wednesday, Patrick Lalime should be back in net against Anaheim.

Ottawa also may have a player making his season debut. Right wing Martin Havlat recently rejoined the team after signing a new contract and could be in the lineup Friday.

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STANDINGS (through Oct. 15): Senators - 3 points, 3rd place, Northeast Division. Mighty Ducks - 0 points, 5th place (tied), Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Alfredsson, 3 goals and 5 points; Radek Bonk and Marian Hossa, 3 assists; Chris Neil, 9 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Niedermayer, 2 goals and 2 points; four with 1 assist; Todd Simpson, 20 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 15): Senators - Power play: 40.0 percent (6 for 15), 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 71.4 percent (15 for 21), 27th (tied). Mighty Ducks - Power play: 7.7 percent (1 for 13), 23rd (tied). Penalty killing: 76.9 percent (10 for 13), 21st (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Lalime (1-1-0, 2.46 GAA); Prusek (0-1-0, 4.00). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (0-2-0, 2.52); Martin Gerber (0-1-0, 3.05).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: 1-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 29; Mighty Ducks, 3-2. At Anaheim, Calif., Rucchin scored the go-ahead goal with 5:12 remaining and Kariya had a goal and an assist.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 0-1-0-0 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 0-1-0-0 at home.
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NHL Season Game 3 Final Score
for 10.9.03

Anaheim 0
PHOENIX 2

NHL Season score: 0-3-0-0
Total NHL Points: 0
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