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Anaheim Gears Up After Lengthy Layoff

Times Staff Writer

If the Mighty Ducks don’t start off playing their best hockey today against Vancouver at the Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim Coach Mike Babcock will not be surprised.

That’s because the Ducks have a history of taking a while to get their game together again after lengthy breaks. It happened when they went 0-4 after Christmas and 0-2-1 after the New Year break. Anaheim hasn’t played since shutting out Columbus, 5-0, on Monday. The Pond was occupied by the NCAA West Regional last week.

“The first period is a concern for me because we’ve been off for five days,” Babcock said. “The rest should help our hockey team, but it usually doesn’t help you in the first period.”

Anaheim has outscored opponents, 60-53, in the first period this season.

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The break could not have come at a better time for rookie Stanislav Chistov, who was starting to feel some wear from the Ducks’ difficult March schedule.

“Some games I feel tired, when my body aches,” said Chistov, who ranks among the NHL rookie leaders in scoring with 12 goals and 29 points in 76 games. “Sometimes it’s mental, but most of the time I feel good.”

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The Ducks are encouraging fans to arrive early to their remaining home games because of additional security measures in place at the Pond.

Starting with today’s game against the Canucks, doors will open 90 minutes before faceoff, instead of an hour.

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TODAY

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vs. Vancouver, 5 p.m.

Fox Sports Net 2

Site -- Arrowhead Pond.

Radio -- KPLS (830).

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Records -- Ducks 38-26-9-5, Canucks 45-21-12-1.

Record vs. Canucks -- 3-0-0.

Update -- The Canucks lead the league in goals with 260 after Saturday night’s 5-1 victory over the Kings. They led the league last season with 254.

Tickets -- (877) 945-3946.

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