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Team Looking to Right Ship

Times Staff Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Mighty Ducks may not be in over their heads, but it’s time to start bailing.

Three consecutive losses have taken the luster off what had been two of their best weeks. The Ducks play today at Minnesota, one of the teams they are chasing for a playoff spot.

“When you go through an 82-game schedule, you’re not going to be at your best night in and night out,” team captain Paul Kariya said. “But you can’t have these long stretches of bad games.”

The Ducks are at three and counting. They came out of the Christmas break and were manhandled by San Jose, 4-1. Two nights later, Vancouver routed them, 7-3. A weary Duck team then gave Calgary a 4-2 victory Sunday.

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“You don’t find out anything about your team when they’re loosey goosey,” Coach Mike Babcock said before the Vancouver loss. Two defeats later, his tone became more serious.

“Sometimes when adversity hits, you find out something about your team,” Babcock said after his team had lost to Calgary. “When things go right, you have the momentum. When things go wrong, there’s momentum too and that takes more to change that.”

*

Jessica Sawyer, the wife of forward Kevin Sawyer, gave birth to the couple’s first child, Jack Sawyer, on Monday.

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TODAY

at Minnesota, 3 PST

Site -- Xcel Center.

Radio -- KPLS (830).

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Records -- Ducks 15-13-6-3; Wild 19-11-7-1.

Record vs. Wild (2001-02) -- 2-1-1.

Update -- The Wild’s Marian Gaborik has 23 goals, the second most in the NHL.


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