Hostilities Suspended, Thanks to Tkachuk

Times Staff Writer

There was little sympathy in the Mighty Duck dressing room for St. Louis forward Keith Tkachuk, who was suspended for three games and will not play tonight against the Ducks.

Still, that may have disrupted Lance Ward's itinerary for the game. Ward and Tkachuk -- called a repeat offender by NHL officials -- clashed during a Nov. 4 game at St. Louis, which included Tkachuk's being assessed a double-minor for spearing Ward.

Ward's anger after that game was evident. The rematch was called off by NHL officials, who suspended Tkachuk for a cross-checking incident involving San Jose's Rob Davison.

"That's fine," Ward said. "We'll just have to take the two points. I guess that's the way things work out in the end."

When reminded that the Ducks and Blues play twice more this season, Ward said, "I plan to be around for a long time too."

The next meeting is March 17 at the Pond.

"I guess if I can knock him off his game, like I did last time, that's good for the team," Ward said. "My job is to aggravate those guys."


Dan Bylsma, who is recovering from off-season knee surgery, practiced with the team for the first time Saturday, going 20 minutes.

"That's the controlled regimen they have worked out for me," Bylsma said. "I felt great, but no matter how I felt I was coming off the ice after 20 minutes."

Bylsma expects to be ready to play in December.

"One thing ... we seem to be missing is energy," Coach Mike Babcock said. "Dan has energy and it is great to have him out on the ice."


Defenseman Kurt Sauer, out a week because of a sprained left ankle, will skate today, but it was doubtful whether he would return to the lineup Tuesday against Colorado.... Sergei Fedorov, who was ill Friday, returned to practice Saturday and will play tonight.



vs. St. Louis, 5, Channel 9

Site -- Arrowhead Pond.

Radio -- XPRS (1090).

Records -- Ducks 6-7-1-3, Blues 11-3-0-1.

Record vs. Blues -- 0-0-0-1.

Update -- Besides missing Tkachuk, the Blues will be without center Doug Weight, who is serving a three-game suspension. Duck goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere has a 1.93 goals-against average in his last three starts.

Tickets -- (877) 945-3946.

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