Anaheim advances with first-round sweep of DetroitPosted: Thursday April 17, 2003 1:41 AM
Updated: Thursday April 17, 2003 3:30 AM
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Jean-Sebastien Giguere could hardly believe it.
Giguere again was outstanding in goal, and Steve Rucchin scored 6:53 into overtime Wednesday night as the Anaheim Mighty Ducks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to sweep the defending Stanley Cup champions out of the playoffs.
"If you would have asked me at the beginning of the series about a sweep, I would have said, 'No,'" said Giguere, who stopped 32 shots in the Game 4 victory.
In his first NHL playoffs, Giguere faced 171 shots and had 165 saves in the Western Conference series, a 1.24 goals-against average against the high-scoring Red Wings.
The Ducks might have to wait as long as a week before beginning the second round against Dallas, St. Louis or Vancouver.
Anaheim's sweep of the Red Wings was payback: The Ducks' only two previous appearances, Detroit beat them in four games, in the second round in 1997 and the first round in 1999.
"They are a great team, and it's a good feeling to finally beat them," said Paul Kariya, who scored a first-period goal that tied the game 1-1.
Anaheim won the first game of the series 2-1 in triple overtime, and each of the four victories was by one goal.
With new coach Dave Lewis, a former assistant, and new goalie Curtis Joseph, the Red Wings became only the second defending Stanley Cup champions to be swept the following year in a four-game opening series.
In 1952, Detroit upset the 1951 champion Toronto Maple Leafs and went on to win the Cup.
"We just did not get it done, not one game," Lewis said. "Their team played hard. One guy [Giguere] did not beat us; he was the difference, but their team beat us."
The Red Wings' Darren McCarty said, "We just couldn't get that goal when we needed it. We're just all in shock."
Rucchin scored his first goal of the series with a one-timer from 10 feet after defenseman Keith Carney centered the puck from behind the net.
"The hockey gods reward the hardest workers and Rucchin worked the hardest this series and he deserved the goal," Anaheim rookie coach Mike Babcock said.
Rucchin credited Carney for setting up the winning goal.
"It was just a great play by Keith Carney all the way," Rucchin said. "It was a perfect pass."
Carney said, "The puck was on the side of the net and I saw it just sitting there. I had a lot of time. I saw the scramble in front and just wanted to throw it out, and Rucchin was there."
Detroit's Joseph gave up three goals on 27 shots.
Fedorov's first goal of the series and 50th of his playoff career came on a deflection, with the puck bouncing off Niclas Havelid and into the net past Giguere. The Anaheim goalie also had almost no chance on Detroit's other score, by Henrik Zetterberg on a two-man breakaway at 13:23 of the first period.
The goals were the second of the series for both Krog and Kariya. Grog scored the tying goal late in the Ducks' 3-2 win in Game 2. Kariya had the winner in Anaheim's 2-1, triple-overtime victory in the opening game.
Zetterberg gave the Red Wings a short-lived 1-0 lead at 13:23 of the opening period, but Kariya tied it just 1:45 later, beating Joseph at close range.
Adam Oates controlled the puck near the red line, skated into the Ducks' zone and made a perfect pass to Kariya, who broke behind the defense and beat Joseph high on the stick side from close range at 15:08 of the opening period.
Brett Hull set up Zetterberg's goal, stealing the puck near the top of the left circle, quickly skating toward the right post, then feeding Zetterberg with a tap across the crease. Zetterberg flipped the puck into the upper left corner of the net for his first goal of the series.
Notes: The Ducks' only previous series win in the postseason was in 1997, when they beat the Phoenix Coyotes in seven games before being swept by Detroit in the second round. ... Detroit has been swept in a four-game playoff series eight times in club history. ... Hull, who has 716 career regular-season goals; Steve Yzerman, with 660, and Luc Robitaille, who has 631, accounted for only one goal in the series against Anaheim -- Robitaille's score in Detroit's 3-2 loss in Game 2. The trio combined for 20 goals, 10 by Hull, in the postseason last year.