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Friday, April 21, 2006
Giguere misses Ducks-Flames amid injury reports

Associated Press

CALGARY, Alberta -- Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere was scratched from the Mighty Ducks' playoff opener against the Calgary Flames on Friday night because of an undisclosed injury that occurred earlier in the week.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Giguere, the 2003 playoff MVP when the Ducks made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals, practiced earlier Friday but didn't take part in the pregame warmup and wasn't in the lineup. All the team would say is that Giguere had a lower-body injury and was day to day.

"You guys have heard it so many times I'm sure you're sick of it," coach Randy Carlyle said after Anaheim lost 2-1 in overtime.

Carlyle added that Giguere was hurt during practice a couple of days earlier.

Ilya Bryzgalov started in Giguere's place and was backed up by Nathan Marsters, who was recalled from Portland of the AHL.

"I was so excited, because I wait for this chance for five years," said Bryzgalov, who stopped 28 shots in the loss. "Everyone wants to play in the playoffs because it's a good occasion to learn something new. It's pretty tough. I think it's made me a better goalie. I'm not nervous. I feel pretty cool."

Bryzgalov looked comfortable and stymied the Flames on several chances. It took Darren McCarty's overtime goal to finally put Bryzgalov and the Ducks away.

"I thought he provided us with a level of goaltending that gave us a chance to win," Carlyle said. "That's a pressure situation for a young goaltender to go into, not expecting that he was going to start. We had a pretty good idea a couple days ago that he would start. He is quite capable of carrying the mail."

Giguere made 29 saves Monday night against Calgary when Anaheim won 4-3 in the regular-season finale that served as a playoff preview. He went 30-15-11 with a 2.66 goals-against average this season as the Ducks finished third in the Pacific Division with franchise highs of 43 victories and 98 points.

Bryzgalov was 13-12-1 while backing up Giguere. Marsters has never played in an NHL game.

"All the games he played in the regular season, he did his job well," Teemu Selanne, the team's leading regular-season scorer, said of Bryzgalov. "We have lots of confidence in him, too. That's a good sign."