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Two Roster Moves Might Lead to More

Times Staff Writer

The Mighty Ducks shuffled their roster Saturday.

Out: Craig Johnson, who was designated for assignment and claimed by Toronto.

In: Tony Martensson, who was recalled from minor league Cincinnati.

General Manager Bryan Murray indicated that more moves are a possibility. Forward Chris Kunitz and defenseman Mark Popovic are potential call-ups.

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But Murray said that Saturday’s roster adjustment was not the white flag on a season that has gone wrong for the Ducks.

“We’re only seven points out of a playoff spot,” Murray said. “We win a few games here and we’re right there.”

Murray has been impressed with the play of Kunitz, who signed as a free agent last spring, and may want to take a look at him, especially considering the way the Ducks labor to score goals. Kunitz has 13 goals and 29 points to lead Cincinnati.

“He is playing well down there,” Murray said. “We may have to think about him.”

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Martensson joins the Ducks for the second time. He played four games with them earlier this season and scored his first NHL goal against Detroit on Dec. 3.

“We need a fourth-line center,” Coach Mike Babcock said. “We haven’t had one all year. [Jason Krog] has played there, but he’s a winger for us.”

And, Babcock also mentioned, “that Kunitz kid is on fire down there.”

Johnson had one goal and two points in 39 games with the Ducks.

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TODAY

vs. Columbus, 5 p.m., Channel 9

Site -- Arrowhead Pond.

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Radio -- XPRS (1090).

Records -- Ducks 13-18-6-5, Blue Jackets 11-23-5-3.

Record vs. Blue Jackets -- 0-1.

Update -- Columbus has a 3-7-1-1 record in its last 12 games. Although forward Rick Nash leads the NHL with 24 goals, the Blue Jackets average only 1.93 goals per game, the second fewest in the NHL. Duck forward Rob Niedermayer missed Saturday’s practice to rest his sore groin. “Right now we’re using him in the games and trying to get his health back so he can have that first step,” Babcock said. Martin Gerber will start in goal for the Ducks.

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Tickets -- (877) 945-3946.


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