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XCellent road win

Ducks blank Wild 1-0 behind Giguere's 33 saves

Posted: Saturday January 18, 2003 10:42 PM
Updated: Saturday January 18, 2003 11:40 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild dominated all but two of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

That duo was enough to beat the Wild.

Jean-Sebastian Giguere made 33 saves and got his league-leading sixth shutout and Paul Kariya scored the only goal in Anaheim's 1-0 victory.

Giguere, who posted his 14th career shutout, is tied with Chicago's Jocelyn Thibault with six this season. Kariya snapped a career-worst streak of 12 games without a goal when he scored in the first period.

"We've had a team effort all year long but tonight the bottom half [of the lineup] wasn't there," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "They dominated the bottom half of our lineup, and our key guys had to go out there every time and try to get the momentum back."

The Wild outshot Anaheim 33-13 and controlled the last 50 minutes of the game. Despite several quality chances, they couldn't manage to get the puck past Giguere.

"Tonight he was on," Wild left wing Andrew Brunette said. "We just couldn't slip anything past him."

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Giguere is having a breakout year. In December, he had a franchise record scoreless streak of 237 minutes, 7 seconds -- including three straight shutouts -- the third longest streak in NHL history.

Saturday night's win was his fourth in a row and 10th in 14 decisions. The Mighty Ducks have won four of five.

"I saw pretty much everything," Giguere said. "Our defense did a good job of letting me see the first shot. I just had to stay patient and stay focused. I had to make the first save, which is my job, and they did a good job of clearing the rebounds."

Giguere got all the help he would need early in the first period, courtesy of Kariya.

Just over five minutes in, Kariya intercepted a pass by Antti Laaksonen at the Wild blue line and ripped a slap shot past Minnesota goalie Dwayne Roloson to break his scoring slump.

"It's been a tough three weeks," said Kariya, whose father recently died. "It was good to help the team. I just read that he was passing and picked a good spot."

It was a welcome sight for Babcock.

"Paul is not the kind of guy who presses, but after a while you have to think, 'Am I going to get one?'" Babcock said. "He got another chance and just buried it. It was nice to see."

The Wild took over after Kariya's goal, outshooting Anaheim 32-8 the rest of the game.

"We battled well," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "The only thing that was missing was a goal. I think that we'd get more than one goal if we could have got one."

But Giguere wouldn't allow it. He made save after save, including a brilliant kick stop to take away an open net from Cliff Ronning in the third period.

He also got a little luck when a hard shot by Minnesota defenseman Willie Mitchell struck the left post early in the third period.

"That was one of the few shots I didn't see and it went on the post," Giguere said. "I will take that every time."

The loss ended a 2-4 homestand. The Wild were shutout twice in the last three. Minnesota starts a five-game road trip at Anaheim on Monday.

"I think we're ready for a road trip," Lemaire said. "We gave a great effort, I feel we're headed in the right direction."

Notes: Wild LW Jeremy Stevenson left the game with a bruised cheek in the first period after a check by Anaheim RW Dan Bylsma. ... Wild D Lubomir Sekeras was knocked out of the game momentarily in the first period by a crushing check from C Marc Chouinard. ... The Wild wore their green sweaters at home for the first time this season. ... Anaheim is 4-1-1 in its last six games against Western Conference opponents.

 
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