Chicago rookie Andersson eventually finds groove


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks were fortunate
to get the goals they needed early because rookie Craig Andersson
stopped everything over the final 2½ periods of his first NHL

Paul Kariya and Marc Chouinard scored 23 seconds apart during
the first 2½ minutes and Patric Kjellberg also scored in the first
period as the Ducks snapped a five-game winless streak Sunday night
with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

''It was a great start for us,'' Anaheim defenseman Keith Carney
said. ''We wanted to come out hard and put some pucks on this
rookie starting his first game. We were fortunate to come up with
some early goals and put them behind the eight ball.''

Alex Zhamnov and rookie Tyler Arnason scored for the Blackhawks,
who finished their road trip 1-6 following a six-game unbeaten
streak (4-0-2).

The Ducks scored all three goals on their first four shots
against Andersson, who made his NHL debut in the 4-1
loss Saturday night at Los Angeles and turned aside all four shots he faced in
almost 27 minutes after relieving Jocelyn Thibault.

Unlike Thibault, coach Brian Sutter stuck with Andersson to see
what the rookie was made of. The defense tightened up as well in
front of Andersson, who stopped Anaheim's final 22 shots.

''It's a confidence booster knowing that he's got faith in me.
And that's the biggest thing,'' Andersson said. ''It makes you feel
like you have more confidence in yourself than you did before.

''If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. That's out of
my control if he wants to take me out. I just know I had to stay
calm and stay poised in there. I battled through it, and it's a big
stepping stone for myself -- knowing that I can play with these

Chicago's Kyle Calder was serving a tripping penalty when Kariya
got a cross-ice pass from rookie Stanislav Chistov and beat
Andersson high to the stick side with a one-timer from the top of
the right circle.

Chouinard then redirected Pavel Trnka's slap shot from the left
point at 2:18 of the first -- the second time in two nights the
Blackhawks allowed two goals in less than 30 seconds.

Fredrik Olausson set up Anaheim's third goal with a one-timer
that deflected in off Kjellberg's arm at 7:24 of the period while
Chris Simon was off for interference.

Chicago narrowed the gap to 3-2 with two goals in 66 seconds,
after Andersson forced Anaheim's Matt Cullen to shoot wide on a
breakaway with 5:22 left in the first.

''We stayed with it. We've got a veteran bunch of guys in here,
and if we're down 3-0, we still believe we can bounce back,''
defenseman Lyle Odelein said. ''We showed a lot, coming back right
away like that, and we took the game over. We pretty much dominated
the whole game -- except for five minutes.''

Steve Sullivan won a faceoff from Steve Rucchin and got the puck
back to Zhamnov, whose wrist shot hopped off the glove of goalie
Jean-Sebastien Giguere and over his left shoulder.

Arnason, who leads rookies with seven goals and 15 points,
scored from the edge of the crease 42 seconds before the first
intermission after Sergei Berezin stick-handled around defenseman
Niclas Havelid and fed the puck in front.

''We let down a little bit,'' Carney said. ''We thought it was
going to be easy and we got away from our game plan a little bit.
You can't do that against a team like that. But we were able to
finish strong, so it was a good win.''

The Blackhawks had two goals waved off after that -- one by
Sullivan, whose shot from the left circle went in while teammate
Jason Strudwick was in the crease at 8:10 of in the second. The
other was with 11:12 left, when Calder directed the puck in with
his skate.

Game notes
Andersson, a third-round choice in 2001, was recalled from
Norfolk of the AHL last Tuesday to replace the demoted Steve
Passmore. ... The Ducks set club records for fastest two goals
(2:18) and fastest three goals (7:24) from the start of a game. ...
The Blackhawks are 1-7-1 in their last nine games in Anaheim.