Blues' slow start aids Ducks' quick finish, 4-3 victory

Monday, November 17, 2003

The AssociatedPress

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Steve Rucchin can't get back all the games he missed the last few seasons because of injuries. Instead of complaining about it, he's making up for lost time.

Rucchin scored in the first period for his 400th NHL point, then got the go-ahead goal on a power play early in the third to give the Anaheim Mighty Ducks a 4-3 victory over the Blues on Sunday.

The 10-year veteran center played all 82 games last season for the first time in his career and scored seven goals in the playoffs, helping the Ducks come within one victory of the Stanley Cup.

But he was limited to 54 games over the previous two seasons because of a stress fracture in his left shin, a broken left hand, and a concussion caused by a slap shot that was deflected into his face by then-teammate Teemu Selanne.

"I've missed a lot of games, which is unfortunate. So at this point of my career I should definitely have a lot more points," said Rucchin, who replaced the departed Paul Kariya as team captain this season.

"But I guess, on the plus side, it just means I've got that many more games in me. Last year obviously was nice, and this year -- knock on wood -- things are going fairly good up to this point. Another 82 games would be great."

Anaheim got off to a quick start when Jason Krog and Vitaly Vishnevski scored 69 seconds apart in the first period for a 2-0 lead. Vishnevski also had two assists as Anaheim ended the Blues' five-game winning streak.

Peter Cajanek, Pavol Demitra and Eric Nickulas scored for the Blues.

Rucchin put the Ducks ahead to stay with 15:06 left when he scored his eighth goal.

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