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Giguere, Kunitz shine to keep Ducks undefeated

Oct 10, 2006 - 4:39 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Chris Kunitz put the finishing touches on a winless road trip for the St. Louis Blues.

Giguere stopped 34 shots for his 22nd career shutout and Kunitz scored twice as the Anaheim Ducks remained undefeated with a 2-0 victory over the Blues.

Following victories over the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes, Anaheim opened a five-game homestand by extending its unbeaten streak against St. Louis to seven. The Ducks joined the Buffalo Sabres and the San Jose Sharks as the league's only 3-0-0 teams.

"I thought our team game was good and we worked hard and established the forecheck," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Our power play and penalty killing are critical this time of year and we won the game because of that."

The 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Giguere played his 299th game. He made eight saves in the first period, 14 in the second and 12 in the third against the Blues, who lost their franchise-record 12th consecutive road contest.

"There is always improvement to be made," Giguere said. "But all in all, we had a real strong first period, which was a change from the last couple of games. I thought our effort was real good. We showed a lot of composure in the third. A lot of good signs out there."

"I thought we did a good job, but they came through when they had to," Blues goaltender Curtis Sanford said. "We knew we were coming in on this road trip against three really strong teams, and we need to up our play against them. ... We've got a lot to work on to get better."

Giguere turned away St. Louis on five power-play attempts, including a glove save on Martin Rucinsky's wrister from the front of the left faceoff circle late in the third period.

"We couldn't do anything on the power play," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "We've got to create things. It just seems like we're not working the puck well. We had a couple of power plays where we worked it around fine, but there were a couple where we lost momentum and we couldn't generate anything."

After recording a goal and an assist in Friday's victory over the Kings, Kunitz redirected Teemu Selanne's one-timer from the left circle past Sanford for a power-play goal with 3:18 left in the first period.

"The guys moved the puck around real good," Kunitz said. "The puck came back to Teemu, and he got off a one-timer. I just tried to get a stick on it. I think it would have gone in anyway."

"It just changed the game when they scored the first goal," Blues center Doug Weight said. "It really puts your back against the wall."

Kunitz took advantage of Rucinsky's hooking penalty just 35 seconds into the third period by knocking his own rebound past Sanford for his third tally of the campaign and third career multi-goal contest.

"The scariest thing about this team is that we've won three games," Selanne said. "But I don't think that we've played nearly as well as we could. I don't think that we've played close to our potential."

"Coaches are never satisfied," Carlyle added. "There aren't many who will say their team was 100 percent. There is always room for improvement."

Acquired from Edmonton on July 3, former Hart and Norris Trophy winner Chris Pronger picked up his first point with the Ducks when he assisted on Kunitz's first-period goal.

Anaheim had a 5-on-3 power play in the waning moments and twice came close to adding another goal. Corey Perry hit the crossbar from the right circle with 1:15 left and Kunitz just missed a redirect attempt for a hat trick seconds later.

Sanford stopped 32 shots for the Blues, who play the Boston Bruins in their home opener on Thursday.






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