Giguere remains perfect against Wild
ANAHEIM, May 15 (UPI) -- Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere became the first goaltender in 58 years to start a playoff series with three shutouts Wednesday night.
His continued perfection gave the Mighty Ducks a 4-0 blanking of the Minnesota Wild that moved them within one win of their first Stanley Cup Finals berth.
Giguere stopped 35 shots and extended his shutout streak to 213 minutes, 17 seconds as the Ducks grabbed a three games to none lead in the Western Conference finals.
Six goalies have recorded three straight playoff shutouts, but Toronto's Frank McCool was the only one to get them at the start of a series, doing it against Detroit in the 1945 Stanley Cup Finals.
Just two teams in NHL history have won series after trailing three games to none, although Minnesota this year became the first to come back from 3-1 deficits twice in the same postseason.
Game 4 will be Friday night in Anaheim, where the Ducks will try to become the first time in 11 years to complete a sweep in the conference finals.
The Wild's most immediate task is getting the puck past Giguere, who has stopped all 98 shots in the series.
Paul Kariya came to life with two goals and Steve Rucchin and rookie Stanislav Chistov also scored in a rare postseason laugher for Anaheim. Of the Ducks' previous 10 playoff wins, nine were by a single goal. Their streak of one-goal victories ended with a 2-0 triumph in Game 2 of this series.
Ottawa will be at New Jersey Thursday night in a series that is tied at 1-1.
Atkins saves Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 15 (UPI) -- Chucky Atkins flipped in a running layup in the final second Wednesday night to save the Detroit Pistons.
Atkins' basket gave the Pistons a 78-77 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers and a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Detroit won its sixth straight postseason home game, including the last two from Philadelphia with last-second heroics. The Pistons can reach the conference finals for the first time in 13 years with a win Friday night in Philadelphia.
The top-seeded Pistons, however, would have been staring at elimination if not for Atkins. He rescued them with a great shot that foiled a gritty comeback by the 76ers.
Detroit never trailed until the waning moments, when Philadelphia's Eric Snow drained a three-pointer for a 77-76 lead with 9.4 seconds to play.
The Pistons called their final timeout and drew up a play that was disrupted when the 76ers used an extra foul they had on Atkins with 3.7 seconds remaining. Both teams looked disorganized before the ensuing inbounds pass.
Richard Hamilton passed to a cutting Atkins, who had gotten a step on Aaron McKie. He dribbled to the right baseline and lofted a shot that caught the rim, hit the backboard and was about to drop through when it was goaltended by Derrick Coleman with 0.9 seconds left.
With no timeouts, the 76ers were reduced to a 60-footer by Allen Iverson that was not close. For the second time in as many games at The Palace of Auburn Hills, they saw a win slip away in the final seconds.
In Detroit's Game 2 victory, rookie Tayshaun Prince scored the tying basket in the final seconds, then scored seven points in overtime. Prince had a similar basket in this game, giving the Pistons a 76-74 lead with 16 seconds to go.
The Western Conference semifinals resume Thursday night with the California teams trying to fight off the Texas teams. Los Angeles will host San Antonio and Sacramento will be home against Dallas. San Antonio and Dallas both own a 3-2 lead.
Tigers win before small crowd
DETROIT, May 15 (UPI) -- Craig Monroe doubled, homered and scored twice, allowing the Detroit Tigers to edge the Oakland Athletics, 2-1.
Steve Avery won his first major league game in more than three years before a crowd of just 11,091.
Entering the contest with just two wins in 15 home games, the Tigers grabbed the lead on a solo home run by Monroe in the fourth inning.
After Oakland evened the game in the seventh, Monroe nearly won it in the ninth, hitting a shot to right-center field that bounced off the wall for a double.
Eric Munson moved Monroe to third with a sacrifice before Brandon Inge lifted a sacrifice fly to left off lefthander Ricardo Rincon (2-2).
Avery (1-0), who returned to the major leagues Sunday for the first time since 1999, relieved Franklyn German with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth and struck out Scott Hatteberg.
Other American League results: Boston 7, Texas 1; Cleveland 7, Seattle 2; Anaheim 5, New York 3; Toronto 7, Tampa Bay 6; Chicago 5, Baltimore 1; Minnesota 7, Kansas City 0.
Schilling throws two hitter
PHILADELPHIA, May 15 (UPI) -- Curt Schilling pitched a two-hitter and struck out 14 Wednesday night, leading Arizona to a 2-0 triumph over Philadelphia.
It was Schilling's second straight shutout.
Coming off a four-hitter at Pittsburgh on Friday, Schilling (3-2) came up with his best performance of the season against the team he pitched for from 1992 until being traded to Arizona in July 1996.
Schilling overwhelmed one of the National League's top-hitting teams, allowing a double to David Bell in the third and a single to Bobby Abreu in the eighth. He walked one and threw 75 of 106 pitches for strikes.
En route to his 79th career complete game and 19th shutout, Schilling struck out at least one batter in each inning. He struck out the side in the first and eighth.
With his big effort, Schilling outdueled Phillies youngster Brett Myers (3-3), who gave up two runs and four hits in eight innings. The 23-year-old righthander walked one and struck out six.
Other National League results: Colorado 6, New York 5; Montreal 6, San Francisco 3; Pittsburgh 3, Houston 2; Milwaukee 7, Chicago 6; Cincinnati 4, St. Louis 0.
Dave DeBusschere dies at age 62
NEW YORK, May 14 (UPI) -- Hall of Famer Dave DeBusschere, regarded as the rock of the two New York Knicks' championship teams in the 1970s, died Wednesday.
He was 62.
A team spokeswoman said DeBusschere died of a "massive heart attack."
Playing for Knicks teams which featured five Hall of Famers, DeBusschere was one of the league's elite power forwards, making the All-Defensive Team six times.
DeBusschere, whose No. 22 is retired by the Knicks organization, also played major league baseball with the Chicago White Sox in 1962 and 1963 while also playing with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA. He was a player-coach with the Pistons from before being traded to the Knicks.
Funny Cide heads field for Preakness
BALTIMORE, May 15 (UPI) -- Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide was installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite Wednesday for next Saturday's Preakness.
Funny Cide will break from the No. 9 post position. A draw was held early Wednesday to select the order of post selections for the Preakness and Funny Cide ended up with the 10th and last spot. As a result, trainer Barclay Tagg was left with the ninth post by the time all the spots were chosen.
The tight turns at Pimlico Race Course can sometimes make it difficult to pass in the 1 3/16th-mile race, but with a field of just 10 horses, that danger will be minimized.
A stunning victory by Funny Cide in the Kentucky Derby, a subsequent investigation of jockey Jose Santos and two injuries kept the field for the Preakness in a constant state of flux over the past week.
The field was as small as six horses last week, but rose to a dozen by Monday and finally came back down to 10. Peace Rules, Scrimshaw and Ten Cents a Shine will join Funny Cide as the only horses to compete in the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
Funny Cide became the first gelding to win the Kentucky Derby since Clyde van Dusen in 1929, upsetting favorite Empire Maker as a 12-1 choice.
Trainer Bobby Frankel considered putting Empire Maker in the Preakness field on Saturday when it was learned that Santos was being investigated for possibly having an illegal device in his hand during his ride at Churchill Downs.
Santos was exonerated by Kentucky Derby stewards on Monday. By that time, Frankel already had committed Peace Rules as his lone candidate for Saturday's race.
Peace Rules, who was third in the Kentucky Derby after defeating Funny Cide in the Louisiana Derby, will break from the seventh post and is 8-5 second choice with Edgar Prado aboard.
Luyendyk out of Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS, May 15 (UPI) -- The Arie Luyendyk era at the Indianapolis 500 came to an end Wednesday.
The two-time champion announced he would not take part in next week's race because of lingering problems from a concussion.
Although the 49-year-old Luyendyk did not use the word "retire," it is unlikely he will pursue future opportunities as a race driver in the Indianapolis 500.
Luyendyk crashed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during last Friday's practice session. Although he was not knocked out, the driver suffered an "excruciating" headache for about 30 minutes. He was originally cleared to drive during last weekend's qualifications, but after feeling listless and dozing off, the driver from Holland realized something was not right.
The winner of the 1990 and 1997 Indianapolis 500s did not suffer any other injuries, but the lingering effects of the head injury were enough to keep him sidelined. Luyendyk, who originally retired from racing after the 1999 Indy 500, came out of retirement to race at Indy for the 2001 and 2002 races.
Big East to fight reported ACC expansion
PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 15 (UPI) -- The commissioner of the Big East has decided to try to keep the conference alive.
The decision was announced one day after the Atlantic Coast Conference voted to take steps toward expansion by voting to add three schools from the Big East.
The schools likely will come from a group of four -- Miami, Syracuse, Boston College, and Virginia Tech.
"I am anxious to meet with our conference members in Florida and am prepared to do whatever it takes to preserve the 24-year history of the Big East Conference," said Commissioner Mike Tranghese. "This is a conference that is worth preserving and we should all look forward to the challenge."
The Charlotte Observer reported on its Web site Tuesday that no formal invitations have been extended.
In a statement late Tuesday, ACC Commissioner John Swofford would say only that conference officials were discussing the matter.
The centerpiece of any expansion would be Miami, which has won five national football championships since 1983, but ACC presidents reportedly are divided on which schools would join the Hurricanes in leaving the Big East.
Iowa State promotes Morgan
AMES, Iowa, May 15 (UPI) -- Iowa State set its sights on a coach with experience, but ended up promoting an assistant.
The school named Wayne Morgan, an assistant for just one season under former coach Larry Eustachy, as the men's basketball coach Wednesday.
The Des Moines Register reported that Tennessee-Chattanooga coach Jeff Lebo was the unanimous choice of the search committee to replace Eustachy, but that he turned down the job. Lebo spent two days on campus, but issued a statement on Tuesday saying he was "looking forward to coaching at Chattanooga next year."
Iowa State Athletic Director Bruce Van de Velde would not confirm that an offer was made to Lebo.
Creighton's Dana Altman and Fresno State's Ray Lopes were also candidates, but withdrew from consideration before being interviewed. Steve McClain of Wyoming interviewed for the job on Friday, but also withdrew his name from consideration.
Eustachy resigned May 5, one week after photographs were published that showed him kissing co-eds and drinking at parties on other college campuses following losses by the Cyclones last season.
Georgia players sell championship rings
ATHENS, Ga., May 15 (UPI) -- Eight more Georgia football players were declared ineligible Wednesday after it was determined they sold their SEC championship rings.
The latest group includes cornerbacks Kenny Bailey, Bruce Thornton and Tim Jennings, receivers Michael Johnson and Fred Gibson, running back Trey Young, linebacker Tony Taylor and nose tackle Darrius Swain.
They joined freshman defensive tackle Kedric Golston, who already was cited by the school.
The school's athletic association has arranged to recover the rings to prevent future sales. The school's compliance office is working with the NCAA to determine repayment procedures so the players can seek restoration of their eligibility.