Mighty Ducks seek to get even Monday

June 1, 2003 at 11:30 AM
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ANAHEIM, Calif., June 1 (UPI) -- The home team has won the first three games of the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1987 and The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim hope the trend continues.

After winning in overtime at the Arrowhead Pond Saturday, the Ducks seek to even their series with the New Jersey Devils here Monday night in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Home ice has been especially important for the Stanley Cup finalists. The Devils are 10-1 at home in the postseason while the Ducks are 7-1.

New Jersey outscored Anaheim, 6-0, in the first two games of the series at Continental Airlines Arena as Martin Brodeur recorded two shutouts.

But Brodeur gave the Ducks a gift goal in Game Three and defenseman Ruslan Salei won it at 6:59 of overtime, wristing a shot from the top of the left circle past the glove of Brodeur.

"It's only one win, so we still got a lot of work to do," said Salei, whose other playoff goal came in Game Six of the Western Conference semifinals against Dallas.

After losing the first two rounds to Brodeur, Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves and broke Patrick Roy's record by extending his overtime shutout streak to 167 minutes, 4 seconds.

Giguere also became the first goalie in NHL history to win his first six postseason overtime decisions. While Giguere was as the top of his game, it was a frustrating night for Brodeur, whose second-period gaffe allowed Anaheim to regain the lead.

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. It came just 45 seconds after Patrik Elias beat Giguere on a breakaway.

"That's the break we needed," said Ducks Coach Mike Babcock. "Sometimes, that's what it takes to turn around a series."

The Devils tied the game when Scott Gomez deflected a shot over Giguere with 10:49 left in the third period.

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