Sunday, May 11, 2003

Sykora scores, Giguere saves in 1-0 2OT win


Ducks edge Wild; Ottawa wins in OT

The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Anaheim Mighty Ducks had the Minnesota Wild just where they wanted them - in overtime, with an unbeatable goalie.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere continued his postseason brilliance with 39 saves, and Petr Sykora scored 8:06 into the second extra session as the Mighty Ducks beat the Wild 1-0 in the opener of the Western Conference finals.

"Once again, Jiggy kept us in the game," said Sykora, who also scored in the fifth overtime of the second-round series opener against Dallas.

Giguere stretched his playoff overtime shutout streak to 160 minutes, 49 seconds - the second-longest run behind Patrick Roy's 162:56 in 1996-97.

"I wouldn't say I have tons of experience, but now I know I can do it," said Giguere, a former Cincinnati Mighty Duck and a postseason newcomer - just like No. 6 seed Minnesota.

The seventh-seeded Mighty Ducks improved to 5-0 in overtime in these playoffs and 9-1 in one-goal games. Anaheim, which defeated No. 1 Dallas and No. 2 Detroit en route to the conference finals, is also 5-1 on the road.

The Mighty Ducks, outshot 39-26, couldn't muster much of an attack. Sykora's goal was their first shot of the second overtime.

"We made one mistake," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said.

Filip Kuba lost the puck in the neutral zone and nobody backed him up. Former AHL Duck Mike Leclerc picked up the puck and started a 2-on-1 with Sykora against Lubomir Sekeras.

Sekeras committed to Leclerc along the boards, leaving Sykora wide open for the feed in the slot.

"I don't think he saw me," said Sykora, who beat Manny Fernandez high as Minnesota fell to 2-5 at home in the playoffs.

The Wild, who entered with the best power play in the postseason, went 0-for-5. The Ducks had only one chance with an extra skater.

"Your penalty kill is everything," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "In reality, our special teams won us the game by giving us the opportunity to get there."

Senators 3, Devils 2, OT

OTTAWA - Shaun Van Allen tipped Martin Havlat's pass into a wide-open net 3:08 into overtime, lifting Ottawa to an Eastern Conference finals opening victory over the New Jersey Devils.

The Senators won despite squandering an early 2-0 lead. The Presidents' Trophy winners haven't lost a playoff game this year in which they've scored. Ottawa was shut out once by the New York Islanders and twice by Philadelphia in the first two rounds.

It was Van Allen's first playoff goal in 55 career games.




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