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Giguere stymies Devils as Ducks hang on

Nov 24, 2006 - 11:51 PM
ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Devils got the better of Jean-Sebastien Giguere in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals. More than three years later, Giguere finally exacted a small measure of revenge.

Giguere made 23 saves and Todd Marchant scored twice, including the go-ahead shorthanded tally in the third period, as the Anaheim Ducks held on for a 4-2 triumph over the Devils.

It marked just the second time the clubs have met since the 2003 Finals, when the Devils edged the Ducks in seven games.

Giguere was brilliant that postseason, going 15-6 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage with five shutouts. He became just the fifth player in NHL history from a non-Cup winner to receive the Conn Smythe Award as the postseason MVP.

But Giguere failed to beat the Devils, who captured their third title in nine years. The only other time he faced New Jersey since was November 26, 2003, when the clubs skated to a 3-3 tie.

"It's been too long ago to think about that now," Giguere said of the 2003 Finals. "The key is that we beat the New Jersey Devils, and they're a really good team."

Staked to a 3-2 lead in the third period Friday, Giguere saved his best for last, turning aside a flurry of shots from the doorstep over the final 90 seconds.

"The key is not to panic," Giguere said. "You've got to keep looking for the puck and make the saves. My stick was on the ice, but I couldn't get to it. I knew where it was. It was behind me so I kicked it into the net. The key is to keep battling."

Marchant gave the Ducks the lead for good at 9:23 of the third period with his 22nd career shorthanded tally. He received a cross-slot feed from Rob Niedermayer in the left faceoff circle and snapped a shot over the stick of Devils netminder Martin Brodeur for his fourth tally this season.

"(Niedermayer) made a great move on the defenseman," Marchant said. "He gave me a backhander just past their guy. I took it and tried to get a shot on net, and it went just past Brodeur. Anytime you can get one by Marty Brodeur, it's a good feeling."

"Our penalty killers have been extremely diligent in their work all year, and it was nice to see them rewarded," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "It was a big-time play from guys that normally don't get the recognition."

Marchant also added an empty-net goal with 28 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Dustin Penner and Samuel Pahlsson also scored for Anaheim, which has won three straight at home.

"It was a typical Jersey game," Carlyle said. "They check, check, check. They work extremely hard, especially on the defensive side of the puck where you don't get many opportunities. When you do, you have to take advantage of those opportunities."

Brodeur stopped 33 shots and Brian Gionta scored his team-leading ninth goal for New Jersey, which fell to 1-2 on its five-game road trip.

"They got a goal on our power play," Brodeur said. "It's tough, but that's the way it goes sometimes. It's such a momentum switch in the game and this one cost us the game. We've been allowing too many goals on our power play. We're not scoring goals and we're getting scored on, so it's not a good combination."

"I thought our whole team played well tonight and we had a good effort from a lot of guys," New Jersey coach Claude Julien added. "Offensively, we were able to create some more chances, so that part of it was positive. It was unfortunate that one area was costly for us tonight."






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