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Stars’ General Manager Wants Modano Protected

Times Staff Writers

The accusations about preferential treatment for the Ducks’ Paul Kariya resurfaced Saturday, with Dallas General Manager Doug Armstrong wagging the finger this time.

“The officiating should respect [Dallas’] Mike Modano as much as it does Paul Kariya,” Armstrong said. “That’s an issue that needs to be addressed. The liberties that have been taken against Modano compared to Kariya seem to be out of whack compared to the rest of the players.”

Kariya was criticized for diving by Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios and San Jose Coach Ron Wilson earlier this season.

Kariya drew two penalties in Saturday’s 4-1 Star victory. The Ducks failed to convert either power play into a goal.

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The Mighty Ducks are left with one small problem ... where to get started.

The Ducks still lead Dallas, 3-2, in the Western Conference semifinal. But there was some cause for concern after a 4-1 shellacking at the hands of the Stars on Saturday.

The Ducks were physically overwhelmed. They appeared timid. Their power play continued to wallow and is three for 38 in the playoffs.

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“We knew what we were up against today,” Duck defenseman Keith Carney said. “They were going to come out hard. We didn’t rise to their level.”

That became more of a problem when it became clear the Duck power play was taking another game off. They went scoreless in six chances, with no shots on goal in four of them.

This was not the bounce the Ducks wanted from Mike Leclerc’s game-winning power play goal on Wednesday.

“I thought we got that one and we’d come out stronger on the power play,” Kariya said. “We looked out of sync. We need to fix it.”

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That won’t be easy against a Dallas team that has given up only four power-play goals in 47 chances during the playoffs.

“They came out desperate and hard and took some penalties,” Carney said. “But we couldn’t do anything with them. We have to take advantage of that. We didn’t do anything but stand around out there.”

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Former King defenseman Philippe Boucher of the Stars didn’t get much sleep for all the excitement Friday night after his wife, Lucie Lambert, gave birth at 7:37 p.m. to a baby girl, Vanessa, the couple’s second child.

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“I’m fine, but I’m glad we didn’t go to overtime,” he said.

He played nearly 21 minutes, more than all but two teammates.

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Winger Scott Young, tied for third among the Stars with seven playoff points, sat out because of what the club called an “upper-body injury.”

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