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Archive for Thursday, May 15, 2003

Ducks blank Wild

Anaheim one game from sweep

May 15, 2003

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— Jiggy and those amazing Mighty Ducks are one win away from the Stanley Cup finals.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 35 saves for his third straight shutout, and Paul Kariya scored twice as Anaheim beat Minnesota, 4-0, Wednesday for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Ducks, a stunning 11-2 in the playoffs, can sweep Minnesota with a victory Friday night in Anaheim.

Giguere extended his sensational run by becoming the first goaltender in modern league history to record three consecutive shutouts in the next-to-last round of the playoffs.

The 25-year-old goaltender's scoreless streak reached 213 minutes, 17 seconds, going back to the third period of the Ducks' clinching Game 6 victory against Dallas. The playoff record is 248:32 by Detroit's Normie Smith in 1936.

Giguere, who has four shutouts in the playoffs, has stopped 98 Minnesota shots in the conference finals. He became the first goalie to open a series with three straight shutouts since Toronto's Frank McCool against Detroit in 1945.

In Anaheim's first one-sided win of the postseason, Steve Rucchin scored 4:59 into the game, then the Ducks took control with a three-goal flurry in the second period.

Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire, who has alternated goaltenders through the playoffs, pulled Dwayne Roloson after the Ducks scored their third goal. Manny Fernandez gave up another goal shortly afterward.

Kariya made it 2-0 with his slap shot from the slot after Adam Oates fed him a perfect pass from behind the net. Stanislav Chistov scored four minutes later when he wristed a back-hander past Roloson.

Kariya scored his second goal of the game and team-high fifth of the playoffs just 1:35 later with a baseball-like swing after the puck bounced off Fernandez's pads into the air just to the goalie's left.

Oates and Petr Sykora assisted on both of Kariya's goals.

The Wild rallied from 3-1 series deficits against both Colorado and Vancouver to win both series. But Minnesota faces longer odds now. Only two teams have come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

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