ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are in a groove
that has them thinking about the postseason. The Carolina
Hurricanes are still going in circles, and the needle is stuck.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 28 saves for the Ducks, who have won
five of their last six games and 10 of 14 after going 0-6-1 in
their previous seven. They have a two-point edge over Chicago for
the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.
''We have guys with more experience in our lineup, and that's
giving us a little bit more of an edge,'' Giguere said. ''We have
so many guys now who know how to win, and it shows the young guys
''We've been playing a good team game, and the defense has been
allowing one shot and taking the rebounds away. If you put all that
together, you get the result you want.''
Jeff O'Neill scored his 20th goal for the Hurricanes, who have
gone from Stanley Cup finalists to bottom-feeder in less than a
year. They are last in the Southeast Division with 14 defeats in
their last 15 games. They have dropped eight in a row on the road,
getting outscored 37-14, and are only four points ahead of
last-place Buffalo in the Eastern Conference.
''I think we got used to playing one style throughout the end of
last season and in the playoffs, and we had success with it. Then
the league changes the rules, and it didn't fit our style
immediately,'' defenseman Bret Hedican said.
''We kind of got a step behind, and we've been fighting it ever
since. We know we can play better. ... We're extremely
disappointed, obviously. We've got to find ways to win.''
''It's just something that I've worked on all summer, and it's
nice to see it pay off once in a while,'' Kariya said.
Sykora, playing in his 500th NHL game, has combined with Kariya
and Adam Oates for 38 points and 14 goals in their past 14 games.
Oates needs three assists to tie Gordie Howe for sixth place on
the career list.
Krog, who had a career-high three assists in the 3-2
victory Friday over Phoenix, made it 2-0 when he was sent on a breakaway
by Samuel Pahlsson and converted his own rebound. It was the sixth
short-handed goal for the Ducks.
''I saw the turnover as I was coming toward the puck, and I saw
Sammy grab it,'' Krog said. ''He looked at me, so I turned and
headed up the ice, and he made a great pass on my stick.
''I wanted to make a deke on the goalie and the puck started
rolling on me, so I tried to corral it and go five-hole with a
quick shot. Luckily, the puck came right back on my stick.''
O'Neill spoiled Giguere's bid for his 15th career shutout with
5:57 to play. He shrugged off a check from rookie Kurt Sauer at the
left circle, dragged him all the way into the slot and took a
one-handed shot that eluded a screened Giguere.
Weekes, who sat out the third period of the 8-2 loss Friday at Los
Angeles after giving up seven goals on 34 shots, won his first two
games following his return from a concussion. He's lost 10 in a row since.
Giguere beat Carolina for the first time since leaving the
organization. He was traded to Calgary in June 1997, following the
Hurricanes' final season as the Hartford Whalers. ... Carolina has
given up the first goal in 24 of its last 29 games and has
surrendered 41 goals over its last 10. ... Sandis Ozolinsh earned
an assist on Kariya's goal, his third point in two games since
joining the Ducks in a trade from Florida. ... The Hurricanes,
0-for-5 on the power play, are 0-for-20 in their last four games
against Anaheim. ... The Ducks were 0-3-2 in their previous five
meetings with Carolina. ... Pavel Brendl played his first game with
Carolina after being acquired from Philadelphia in a trade for Sami