Final 2OT

Anaheim won 4-0 (Game 1 of 4)

Anaheim won 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, May 10th
Ducks1Final
2OT
Wild0
Game 2: Monday, May 12th
Ducks2Final
Wild0
Game 3: Wednesday, May 14th
Wild0Final
Ducks4
Game 4: Friday, May 16th
Wild1Final
Ducks2

Ducks 1

 

Wild 0

 

3:00 PM ET, May 10, 2003

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 2OT T
ANA 0 0 0 11
MIN 0 0 0 00

J. Giguere (Ducks - G): Saves: 39, Save Pct.: 1.000

M. Fernandez (Wild - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .962

P. Sykora (Ducks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Giguere makes 39 saves for the winning Ducks

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

 Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Giguere

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 159 minutes, 5 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 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 dropped 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 for most of the afternoon. Sykora's goal was their first shot of the second overtime.

With so few scoring chances, it figured that the only goal of the game would come off a turnover.

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

Filip Kuba lost the puck in the neutral zone and nobody backed him up. Anaheim's 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.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Monday night in St. Paul.

"They got the bounce today, and hopefully we'll get it next time," Wild left wing Antti Laaksonen said.

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."

That and Giguere, of course, because Fernandez was almost as good for Minnesota.

Dwayne Roloson was in goal for the last three games of the previous round against Vancouver -- all Wild wins. But Fernandez, 3-3 in the postseason, was chosen to begin this series.

"Manny has been good for us all year," left wing Pascal Dupuis said.

Though nobody admitted fatigue, the Wild were most certainly tired having played Game 6 against the Canucks at home on Wednesday and then the seventh game in Vancouver on Thursday.

It was Anaheim, however, complaining of a lack of energy -- especially early on.

The Mighty Ducks needed only 10 games to dispose of the conference's top two finishers after a strong second half of the regular season. They'd been waiting since Monday to find out where they'd be traveling.

"I don't think we had the kind of zip we normally have," Babcock said.

The first 80 minutes of the game, in fact, were lacking zip.

The Mighty Ducks and Wild split four games during the regular season, but Anaheim scored only four goals and Minnesota had six. Five of their 13 meetings have gone to overtime, and no power-play goals have ever been scored.

The Mighty Ducks, also in their first conference final series, play a low-risk, disciplined style that's similar to the one Lemaire has installed in Minnesota. That mixture yielded three periods of pretty dull hockey.

"It was like chess out there," Babcock said. "You can't get through the neutral zone with either team."

The 3-year-old Wild are on an extended inaugural postseason appearance after making NHL history with rallies from 3-1 series deficits in the first two rounds over Colorado and Vancouver.

They thrive on letting opponents make mistakes, but they were the more aggressive team for most of the game -- outshooting Anaheim 29-17 through regulation, including 10-4 in the third period.

Minnesota scored 16 times against Vancouver's unstable goalie Dan Cloutier in the final three games of the second round, but the Wild couldn't crack Giguere.

Sergei Zholtok was denied four times in the first period, and one of his shots hit the crossbar during a flurry midway through the stanza.

"He made some big saves all game, not just at the start," Zholtok said. "There's nothing we can do now. We just need to find a way to beat him."

Giguere made maybe his best save of the postseason on a Wild power play in the second period.

Crowding the corner to guard against a quick shot from Andrew Brunette, Giguere whirled to his right after Brunette's pass to a wide-open Marian Gaborik in the slot. Gaborik's wrist shot slid past two Ducks defenders, but Giguere lunged to stop the puck with his stick inches from the goal line.

"A little bit lucky by me," Giguere said. "Sometimes you need one of those."

Game notes
Sykora had a team-high eight shots. ... The Wild lost for the first time in nine playoff games when holding their opponent to two goals or less.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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