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Ducks' fourth line has been first-rate

October 31, 2008 |  3:45 pm

The Ducks celebrate an overtime win.

Rugged winger George Parros will replace the injured Brad May on the fourth line with Ryan Carter and Brian Sutherby tonight when the Ducks face the Vancouver Canucks at the Honda Center.

May sprained his right knee during the second period of the Ducks' 5-4 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday and is expected to be out about two weeks. Parros wasn't in the lineup for that game but had dressed for every other game.

George Parros May has not been placed on injured reserve and the Ducks haven't called anyone up, although that could change. They have one extra defenseman -- Nathan McIver filled that role Wednesday -- and no extra forwards, though coach Randy Carlyle said defenseman Steve Montador could move up to the wing in an emergency.

Most teams look for their fourth line to provide energy, but the Ducks' fourth line --usually chosen from among May, Sutherby, Carter and Parros -- has provided production, too. Sutherby's goal against Detroit was his third in nine games, while Carter has a goal and four points, May had four assists and Parros had two goals and three points.

"Anytime you get your fourth line providing the offense those guys have when our other guys were pretty much shooting blanks for the first four, five games you could never predict that," Carlyle said after the morning skate. "I think that it's a bonus for our group. More than statistically it's more for their self-worth and value to your group within your team.

"I think that's the important thing because everybody feels good when those players are getting the assists, getting the goals, and making that contribution on the offensive side of it."

Parros' two-goal output matches the season-best total he recorded in 2005-06 in 55 games when he played for the Kings.

"I've done all the same things I've usually done. It's just that the shots are going in for some reason this year," he said. "We're putting ourselves in good position. We're playing hard and smart and we're putting the puck a little more on goal this year."

Montador, signed by the Ducks as a free agent in July, said he played up front for perhaps half of last season with the Florida Panthers after injuries had thinned their forward corps. He got time on the third and fourth lines and some on the power play and enjoyed the change.

"It's a tough job. It's not easy. It's certainly different," he said. "Generally you don't touch the puck as much which i certainly like, as a D-man.

"It was new and fresh--what you're doing on the ice, practices, all the meetings, which is refreshing. That's the way I looked at it and I think I did a good job."

-- Helene Elliott

Photo (top): The Anaheim Ducks celebrate after defeating the Detroit Red Wings in overtime at Honda Center on Wednesday. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Photo (insert): Anaheim Ducks right wing George Parros is shown earlier this month in Toronto. Credit: Tom Szczerbowski / US PRESSWIRE