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Yake Gives Ducks One for the Road : Hockey: Right wing gets first NHL hat trick in 4-2 victory over Rangers, their first game away from Anaheim.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

What took Ottawa 40 games and six months, the Mighty Ducks accomplished in one night.

The Senators dragged into April last season without a victory on the road.

The Ducks stepped onto the ice at Madison Square Garden for their first road game Tuesday and left a few hours later with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers before a crowd of 17,643.

The Ducks did it behind right wing Terry Yake’s first NHL hat trick and goaltender Guy Hebert’s 40-save performance.

“You don’t want to come in here and get spanked, because it’s a very long road trip,” said Coach Ron Wilson, whose team is 2-2-2 with a four-game unbeaten streak. “This makes it easy to relax and not think, ‘We’ve got to get a win on the road.’ . . . It can snowball, and get you down so you start looking for excuses, like our travel’s hard, our schedule’s not fair. We’re fine. We just killed that.”

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The Ducks led, 2-0, and 3-1, and were ahead by two goals for the final six minutes.

None of the five recent expansion teams has done what the Ducks did Tuesday.

Florida, the other new team this year, tied Chicago in its first road game and beat Tampa Bay in its third. Tampa Bay won in its third game the season before, and San Jose needed 15 two years ago. Ottawa set the example that made other expansion teams cringe.

“I don’t even want to talk about that,” Yake said, laughing. “That was something we sure didn’t want to think about. We wanted to win Game 1 and if we didn’t, we wanted to win Game 2.”

Yake’s third goal, on the power play, came when he knocked in the puck from short range for a 4-2 lead at 13:39 of the third period.

“The last goal he roofed in tight. That was a goal-scorer’s goal,” Wilson said. “He feels pressure to be our goal-scorer. Now he’s really broken the ice, maybe more is to come.”

The Rangers had threatened a comeback when defenseman Brian Leetch’s power-play goal at 7:23 of the third trimmed the lead to a goal. Sean Hill was called for tripping on the play, again putting the Rangers on the power play, but it proved fruitless.

Yake’s first two goals were both on open-ice backhanders that beat goalie Mike Richter. “I used the same move both times,” Yake said. “I knew if there was another time, I’d have to use Plan B, but it never came.”

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On the first goal, assisted by Bob Corkum and Bill Houlder, Yake controlled the puck even though a Ranger was all over him. The second came off a pass from Anatoli Semenov.

His hat trick--the first for the Mighty Ducks--came with former Hartford General Manager Brian Burke in the stands. Burke, now a senior vice president with the NHL and Commissioner Gary Bettman’s right-hand man, took it graciously. He was the one who made the decision to leave Yake unprotected after a 22-goal season.

“I’m kind of happy he’s here,” Yake said. “I’d like to go out and shake his hand right now.”

The Ducks played in what is becoming their trademark style, a decidedly defensive, forechecking game.

“We’ve been playing road hockey at home, with tight checking. We’re not trying to open it up and impress anybody,” Wilson said. “Teams at home sometimes feel they have to put on a show. We’ll leave the show to Disney and just concentrate on working.”

Duck notes

Right wing Todd Ewen did not return after suffering a broken nose and a slight concussion in the first period . . . . Defenseman Bobby Dollas, who sprained his left thumb late in training camp, made his season debut. . . . Center Shaun Van Allen had two stitches under his nose after being cut with a stick late in the game.

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