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Struggling Cullen Gets Demoted to the Grind Line

Matt Cullen has had a drop in production, with no goals and only four assists in the last 21 games, and has now been dropped from the second line.

Cullen will center the Mighty Ducks’ grind line between Dan Bylsma and Jim Cummins.

“It’s kind of a demotion,”’ Coach Guy Charron said. “There are things he needs to refocus on, like defense.”

Cullen has spent much of the season as the center between Marty McInnis and Mike Leclerc, a line that was the Ducks’ best through early December. That trio produced 26 goals and 68 points through the first 34 games.

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Cullen has eight goals and 33 points. But his plus-minus is minus-15, tying with German Titov for worst on the team.

Samuel Pahlsson, who has two goals and five points, will move into Cullen’s spot on the second line.

TONIGHT

vs. Detroit, 7:30

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Fox Sports Net 2

* Site--Arrowhead Pond.

* Radio--XTRA (690).

* Records--Ducks 18-33-8-5; Red Wings 38-16-6-4.

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* Record vs. Red Wings--0-3.

* Update--The glow from the Ducks’ recent 2-0-2-1 streak was doused by a 5-2 loss to the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. Teemu Selanne is questionable, having sat out two days of practice because he was sick. The Red Wings have an 11-game unbeaten streak, going 9-0-2 in that time. They seem poised to pass St. Louis and take over first place in the Central Conference. They have scored at least one power-play goal in the last eight games, including four in eight chances in a 6-3 victory over Phoenix Sunday.


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