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[0] DUCKS LOOK LIKE WINNERS DUCKS 3, DALLAS 1.

Byline: Brian Dohn Staff Writer

ANAHEIM - The Mighty Ducks waived a veteran, brought up a pair of kids and held a players-only meeting Tuesday. Quite a busy off day, indeed. One win since the New Year and a fading shot at the playoffs can have that kind of effect.

Coming off perhaps their worst performance of the season, the Ducks played with the urgency and passion they need, fighting for loose pucks and grinding out a 3-1 win against the defending Stanley Cup champ Dallas Stars on Wednesday at the Pond.

Paul Kariya, who pointed the finger at himself for not playing well, scored the game-winner with 13:19 left in the third period. He gathered a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Dallas goalie Manny Fernandez. It was Kariya's 21st goal of the season.

He then epitomized the hustle with an open net goal with 0.1 second remaining by diving and chipping the puck into the net.

Of course, scoring hasn't been the Ducks' forte lately. Earlier in the period they ended a scoreless streak that lasted more than six periods when Antti Aalto scored. Anaheim entered the game 11th in the Western Conference in goals scored, and more important, 10th in the conference race for eight playoff spots.

And while the roster moves and meeting may provide nothing but a short-term fix, Anaheim's second win in its last 11 games (2-8-1) is certainly better than the alternative.

Anaheim had a pair of chances to take the lead midway through the second period. But even top scorers Teemu Selanne and Kariya, the only two Ducks with more than eight goals, couldn't break through. Selanne was stopped by Fernandez at the left side of the net with 13:23 left, and three minutes later Kariya's wrister from the right circle buried itself in Fernandez's midsection.

Dallas broke the scoreless tie with 8:06 remaining in the second period on Joe Nieuwendyk's power-play goal. Nieuwendyk's made a career out of clogging up the low slot, did just that and deflected Darryl Sydor's shot from the high slot past Ducks goalie Guy Hebert to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.

But after watching their scoreless streak reach 128:56, Aalto ended the drought with a tough-angle backhander that went over Fernandez's left shoulder 1:08 into the third period to tie it 1-1. Less than a minute later Niewendyk was knocked from the game with a right shoulder injury thanks to a crunching check by Jeff Nielsen.

--NOTES: After waiving left wing Jim McKenzie on Tuesday, the Ducks recalled left wing Maxim Balmochnykh, 20, and defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski, 19, and both made their NHL debuts against the Stars. . . . Ducks winger Stu Grimson is out three to four weeks with a broken left hand.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo: Anaheim's Tony Hrkac and Brett Hull of the Stars battle for the puck in the Mighty Ducks' 3-1 victory.

John Hayes/Associated Press
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 20, 2000
Words:494
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