They Usually Fall on Trips

The Mighty Ducks have made Coach Mike Babcock a road worrier, a condition that will continue tonight against Colorado in Denver.

After some early-season success away from the Arrowhead Pond, the Ducks have lost seven of their last eight games on the road. In a four-game trip after Christmas, the Ducks were outscored, 19-7, in four losses.

The Ducks have mismatches on the road because the home team gets to make the last line change before a faceoff.

That allows teams to avoid having their best players go against Steve Rucchin, the Ducks' top center.

"We get better matchups at home," Babcock said. "If we were playing Dallas on the road the other night, do you think they would have let Mike Modano play against Rucchin?"

Babcock said teams are taking a closer look at the Ducks before playing games in order to expose their weaknesses.

*

TONIGHT

at Colorado, 6

ESPN 2

Site -- Pepsi Center.

Radio -- KPLS (830).

Records -- Ducks 15-16-7-3, Avalanche 16-11-9-5.

Record vs. Avalanche -- 2-0-0-0.

Update -- Avalanche defenseman Rob Blake has sat out two of the last three games because of back spasms.

-- Chris Foster

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