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Page: Core There for Future

Coach Pierre Page didn’t want to talk about the Ducks’ future after Tuesday’s practice, then proceeded to do it anyway.

Surprise.

“You want to finish the season with a sense of direction,” he said. “You want to find lots of life from the players. It will help us make better decisions [in the off-season]. This is more than just hockey. This is about overcoming adversity. It’s turning negatives into positives.”

At season’s end, Page said, he would gladly go into the specific issues facing the Ducks during perhaps the most important off-season in their history.

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But he did say, “The dip here can be corrected quickly because our core players [Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne] are 23 and 26 years old.

“Right now, the only thing we should talk about is, who’s got the character to correct this thing? It’s not only about talent, but character.

“As bleak as it looks right now, the core here is 23 and 26, not 18 or 19. [But] it’s not the right time to talk about it. It’s better to wait two or three weeks.”

TONIGHT vs. Edmonton

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* 7:30

* Fox Sports West 2

Site--Arrowhead Pond.

Radio--KRLA (1110), KCKC (1350).

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Records--Ducks 24-40-12, Oilers 31-36-10.

Record vs. Oilers--3-1.

Update--Teemu Selanne, battling stomach flu, hopes to play tonight. He needs one goal to break his franchise record of 51 in a season. Mikhail Shtalenkov is expected to start in goal tonight for the Ducks, who are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games against the Oilers. The Ducks, last in the Western Conference, are 4-4-3 since their March 13 brawl with the Dallas Stars. A loss tonight officially will eliminate the Ducks from the playoffs. Edmonton defenseman Roman Hamrlik was sidelined because of back spasms for the Oilers’ 3-2 victory Monday over the Vancouver Canucks. Defenseman Kevin Lowe returned to the lineup Monday for the first time since Oct. 13. He had been sidelined because of an ear infection. Former Duck Bobby Dollas has one goal and six points and a plus-minus rating of plus-eight since he was traded Jan. 9 to Edmonton.


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