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Kariya Weighs In With Timely Hits

It’s not only Teemu Selanne who’s showing that he’s not going to shy away from physical play.

A bulked-up Paul Kariya, once considered too small for the NHL, has been dishing out some well-timed hits.

Just ask Colorado’s Claude Lemieux, Calgary’s Yves Racine and Toronto’s Dimitri Yushkevich--all Kariya victims.

“Every time Paul hits somebody, it gets everybody else going,” said Selanne, who says he and Kariya should play “more dirty” when other players are out to get them.

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Kariya says it’s all in good measure--you can’t expend all your energy on checks when your team needs your other skills.

"[But] if there’s an opportunity, I’ll take it,” Kariya said. “Especially in a close game when we need a little lift.”

Goalie Guy Hebert approves.

“Paul’s not a man of a lot of words, but he sets an example,” Hebert said. “He doesn’t take cheap shots and hit guys when their backs are turned. He makes good hard hits. That word gets around the league. Players know he’s not a frail kid.”

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Winger Warren Rychel said he hopes to return from his back injury Thursday against the Kings. . . . Selanne didn’t practice Tuesday because of illness but is expected to be fine for Thursday. . . . The Ducks skated with about 100 disadvantaged children after practice in an event coordinated by Athletes and Entertainers for Kids, which serves about 300 social service agencies in Southern California.


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