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DUCKS COMING AROUND FIVE GOALS, STRONG EFFORT BY GIGUERE GOOD SIGNS DUCKS 5, TORONTO 1.

Byline: Brice Nixon Staff Writer

ANAHEIM - Two wins in a row might be a modest streak, but to the Mighty Ducks there is quite a bit of significance in their past two victories, including Wednesday's against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Ducks ended a season-worst losing streak at four games, and another strong effort from goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere could be a sign of things to come.

Andy McDonald scored his first two goals of the season and Sergei Fedorov ended a four-game goal-scoring drought with two goals in the Ducks' 5-1 victory over the Maple Leafs in front of 15,903 at the Pond. The five goals were a season high.

Petr Sykora also scored. His game-winning goal in Sunday's 2-1 overtime victory against Phoenix ended his seven-game goal-scoring drought.

``Hopefully, we keep the grip and continue to play the way we did (Wednesday),'' Fedorov said. ``It was a good mood after the game. I think we should stick to that.''

McDonald missed the second half of last season, the playoffs and the first three games of this season while recovering from a concussion. Since his return he's been his old self for the most part: a high-energy player and one of the team's top forwards.

``Andy was a dominant player for us when he left our team due to injury,'' Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. ``His speed and his tenacity are so good that he's a top-six forward in the NHL.''

The 5-foot-10 McDonald showed that tenacity Wednesday, scoring twice on opportunistic plays around the crease.

``Whenever things aren't going well offensively, you just try and simplify the game as much as possible,'' McDonald said. ``And if that means going in front of the net and hacking and whacking, trying to pick up rebounds, then that's what you have to do.''

Giguere had just two wins and had been as inconsistent as the rest of the team coming in, but now he has allowed one goal in each of the past two games. He has a 1.93 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in his past four games.

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, were unbeaten in their previous four and had allowed more than one goal just once in that span.

McDonald's first goal Wednesday came thanks to some persistence by Fedorov. The Russian's first shot was saved by Ed Belfour, but Stanislav Chistov worked the puck back to Fedorov. Belfour stopped that shot, too, but McDonald got to the rebound in the slot and his turnaround shot deflected off Toronto's Tom Fitzgerald and in for a 1-0 lead.

Brice Nixon, (626) 962-8811

brice.nixon(at)sgvn.com
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 13, 2003
Words:439
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