2003 NHL Playoffs 2003 NHL Playoffs

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Anaheim 3, New Jersey 2
Posted: Sunday June 01, 2003 01:55 AM
New Jersey Devils
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Anaheim Mighty Ducks
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ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Back on Walt Disney Co. property, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim followed a tried and true script.

Defenseman Ruslan Salei scored 6:59 into overtime, giving the Ducks a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Adam Oates won a faceoff from Pascal Rheaume and slid the puck back to the top of the left circle. Salei wristed a shot past the glove of goaltender Martin Brodeur and inside the right goalpost for the most important goal of his seven-year career.

"In that situation, when you win the draw, you got to shoot," said Salei, whose other playoff goal came in Game Six of the Western Conference semifinals against Dallas. "As long as there is a line to shoot, you've got to take a shot and hope for the best."

"He can really shoot the puck," Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. "We always say to him, 'Get it on net once in a while.' He shot the puck great there, obviously."

Anaheim's first win of the series was its sixth in overtime and 11th by one goal in the postseason.

"We played a lot of one-goal games all year long," Ducks captain Paul Kariya said. "We're going to have to do a lot of the same things and avoid making mistakes."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves and broke Patrick Roy's record by extending his overtime shutout streak to 167 minutes, 48 seconds. Giguere is the first goalie in NHL history to win his first six postseason overtime decisions.

"This series isn't about the New Jersey Devils," Giguere insisted. "We can't sit back and wait for them to play their game. We've got to play our game."

The Devils recovered from a stunning second-period gaffe by Brodeur but could not take a commanding lead in the series, which continues Monday in Anaheim.

"We came here to get one, and there's no better time," New Jersey center Scott Gomez said. "Everyone wrote those guys off, except us. We knew they weren't going to give up. It's a great club over there."

Brodeur mishandled a seemingly harmless dump-in by defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh with 5:13 left in the second, giving the Ducks a 2-1 lead.

From a stride outside the New Jersey blue line, Ozolinsh flicked the puck at the net. One of the best puckhandling goalies in NHL history, Brodeur dropped his stick and was helpLess as Ozolinsh's shot hit the stick and caromed through his legs.

"I was laughing at myself a little bit," Brodeur said. "What are the odds that you are going to have your stick slip out of your hands? So it happens. It's one of the bad bounces. ... Definitely, this ranks up as a weird one."

The Devils shook off the fluke goal and tied it midway through the third period.

"Just shows the older guys and their leadership in here," Gomez said. "We didn't have our heads down or nothing. Stuff like that's going to happen, it's hockey. We've all been through it."

With 10:49 to go in regulation, Grant Marshall gloved down a clearing attempt by rookie defenseman Kurt Sauer above the right faceoff circle and wristed a shot. Tied up with defenseman Keith Carney at the right goalpost, Gomez deflected it over Giguere for his second goal in as many games and third of the playoffs.

Brodeur may have been unlucky in the second period, but he was fortunate in the third. With 7:11 remaining, he got the shaft of his stick on Paul Kariya's wrister from the low slot, then lunged to get a piece of rookie Stanislav Chistov's chance from the left circle.

Brodeur again used the shaft of his stick to stop Rob Niedermayer, who got a centering pass from Kariya and shot from the edge of the left circle with 3 1/2 minutes left.

"Besides that little mistake I made, I mean, it's going to happen to anyone," Brodeur said. "They had to work hard for the other goals they scored."

Just the third team to open the Stanley Cup Finals with consecutive shutout losses, the Ducks finally got the bounce they were seeking and solved Brodeur 3:39 into the second period.

Ozolinsh intercepted Brodeur's clearing attempt along the right boards and sent the puck toward the net. It hit Devils defenseman Tommy Albelin and deflected to the edge of the left circle, where Anaheim's Marc Chouinard swept it past the left pad of Brodeur.

"It's a great feeling," Chouinard said. "It's unbelievable. I remember telling Dan Bylsma, 'This is nuts.' It was a great feeling."

It was the first career postseason point for Chouinard, who led the Ducks with four shots in the series opener, and ended Brodeur's latest shutout streak at 161 minutes, 46 seconds.

New Jersey got a scare with 14:20 to go in the second when center John Madden suffered an apparent left wrist or hand injury. While checking Mike Leclerc in the right corner, Madden was pinned against the boards by teammate Colin White and immediately doubled over. He missed just one shift and said afterwards, "I'm fine."

Despite killing two power plays, the Ducks had a 9-8 edge in shots in the third straight scoreless first period. It was the first time in the series Anaheim outshot New Jersey.

The Ducks nearly grabbed the lead with 3:44 to go in the period, but Brodeur kicked out his left pad to deny Kariya on a rebound from low in the right circle.

Chouinard's goal came on the Ducks' 42nd shot of the series. But Patrik Elias tied it 10 1/2 minutes later.

Sent in alone on a perfect cross-ice pass from Jamie Langenbrunner, Elias snapped a shot from low in the left circle over the right shoulder of a frozen Giguere. It was his fourth playoff goal and second in as many games.