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Pronger avoids discipline

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Times Staff Writer

Ducks captain Chris Pronger escaped punishment by the NHL on Thursday for an incident during Wednesday night’s game against Vancouver in which he stepped on the leg of Canucks center Ryan Kesler.

The incident occurred in the first minute of the second period in the Ducks’ 4-1 victory. Kesler hit Pronger as he was forechecking behind the Anaheim net and the two became tangled.

Video replays showed Pronger’s right foot caught between Kesler’s legs. As Pronger tried to get his leg loose, Kesler appeared to tighten his to keep the defenseman tied up.

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Pronger then, according to replays, took his right skate and stepped on Kesler before skating away.

“He stomped on me,” Kesler told the Vancouver Sun after the game. “He got me on the calf.”

Kesler, the Canucks’ top checking forward, was not injured in the incident.

NHL dean of discipline Colin Campbell did not comment on the play when he was contacted via e-mail by The Times. Campbell typically only comments when supplementary discipline is handed out.

Pronger was not available for comment. The Ducks did not practice Thursday.

The 33-year-old star defenseman has been suspended seven times in his 14-year career, most notably on two occasions during last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

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Todd Marchant has scored a goal in the last three games, which is one short of his personal best four-game streak set in 1995 when he was a rookie playing for Edmonton.

In his postgame meeting with reporters, Coach Randy Carlyle took a moment to poke fun at the kind of goals Marchant scored and his own curious choice to put the low-scoring forward in the shootout against Phoenix on Tuesday night.

“One was from behind the net, one was from the corner and one was into an empty net,” Carlyle quipped. “The only thing he didn’t do was score in the shootout.”

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Marchant’s first-ever shootout try was disastrous as the puck rolled off his stick before he could get a shot off against Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. The Ducks would lose, 3-2.

“He was one of the winners of the shootout in practice,” Carlyle said. “That’s how we thanked him. But I don’t think he felt very comfortable doing it.”

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eric.stephens@latimes.com

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