Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Ducks, Giguere blank Wild 2-0

Anaheim takes 2-0 lead in West series

The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Anaheim didn't need overtime to beat Minnesota this time, just an opportunistic penalty kill, strong defense and another outstanding performance by its unflappable goalie - "Jiggy.''

Former Cincinnati Mighty Duck Jean-Sebastien Giguere was perfect again, and Kurt Sauer and Rob Niedermayer scored short-handed goals Monday night to lead the Mighty Ducks to a 2-0 victory over the Wild.

Anaheim, which won the opener 1-0 in double overtime, has a 2-0 lead in this unlikely Western Conference final matchup.

The Mighty Ducks have won the first two games on the road in each of their three playoff series this year, the first team in NHL history to do so. They're 6-1 away from home in the postseason.

The series shifts to Anaheim for Game 3 Wednesday.

"I thought it was one of our better games as a team," Giguere said.

If the Wild can't figure out a way to get the puck past Giguere, who made 24 saves, then they won't play at home again in this surprisingly successful third season.

Maybe Minnesota is better off leaving, since it dropped to 2-6 at Xcel Energy Center in the postseason. The Wild are 6-2 on the road.

"For some reason, I don't know, we're not playing as well or not getting the breaks," coach Jacques Lemaire said. "You know, it doesn't take a lot to turn it around."

Giguere - who made 24 saves - hasn't given up a goal in more than 2 1/2 hours of action. He extended his scoreless streak to 153 minutes, 17 seconds, dating to Game 6 against Dallas in the second round - a span of three games.

"It's not too often that you're going to score two short-handed goals like that - never mind one," Anaheim center Steve Rucchin said. "We're fortunate enough to come up with another win again, thanks to Jiggy."

Dwayne Roloson made 20 saves for the Wild, who lost Game 1 despite outshooting the Ducks 39-26. Anaheim improved in just about every aspect for Game 2, except Giguere, who was good already.

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