for this game

Checking line trumps offensive line as Ducks win Game One

May 29, 2007 - 4:52 AM
ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Good defense beats good offense most of the time. When it chips in offensively, it wins every time.

Linemates Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen kept Ottawa's high-scoring unit in check before combining for the winning goal late in the third period, giving the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 triumph over the Senators in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday.

After containing the potent trio of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, Niedermayer and Moen teamed up to provide a series lead for the Ducks, who host Game Two on Wednesday.

"Clearly, 5-on-5, we played well," Moen said. "We played the way we wanted to, physical. Nothing too pretty, lots of chips and dumps."

"Their checking line played head-to-head with our (big) guys, and they ended up getting the winning goal," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "That's the whole game in a nutshell."

From the right point, Norris Trophy finalist Scott Niedermayer pushed the puck to brother Rob, who carried behind the net. After narrowly avoiding a crushing check from Ottawa defenseman Andrej Meszaros, Rob Niedermayer backhanded a bouncing puck to Moen, who swept it past goaltender Ray Emery low to the glove side from in front with 2:51 remaining in the third for his fifth playoff goal and a 3-2 advantage.

"(The puck) was kind of bouncing and I got lucky and caught it on the way down," Moen said. "Got a lucky shot and it went in. It was huge. ... I think every kid dreams of scoring a goal to win a game in the Stanley Cup Finals. It's something special and something I'll never forget."

"The puck was kind of rolling when I gave it to him," Rob Niedermayer said. "He made a great play to knock it down, and he picked the corner. He deserves it. He's a pretty hard-working guy out there. It was nice to see for him."

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle credited the offensive effort of his checking line.

"The old adage is, 'A good defense is offense,'" he said. "If you can keep the other team in their defensive zone, then you don't have to worry about them scoring against you. A key to the (Samuel) Pahlsson line, with (Rob) Niedermayer and Moen, is that they cycle the puck well. And if they can have puck possession in the offensive zone, usually it leads to momentum and sometimes it draws penalties."

The tally held up as Anaheim thwarted a late charge by Ottawa that included a power play for the final 44 seconds.

All did not go well early for the Ducks, who added to their league-leading total of 96 times shorthanded by taking five penalties over the first two periods.

"Some of the calls were tough," Scott Niedermayer said. "You saw them, so I don't have to say anything about them."

The Senators cashed in on their first power play of the game to take the lead. With Scott Niedermayer in the penalty box for high-sticking, Meszaros set up Mike Fisher, who unleashed a one-timer from the left faceoff dot.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere got a piece of the shot, but the puck bounced into the air. Anaheim blue-liner Sean O'Donnell made an unsuccessful attempt to bat it away before it fell to the ice and trickled just inside the right goalpost 98 seconds into the contest for a 1-0 lead.

"The puck went off my glove and kind of popped up into the air," Giguere said. "I had lost my stick, and it was kind of a distraction trying to get it. The next thing I knew, he was shooting the puck.

"Bounces are part of the game. You've got to deal with it right away and just move on. And goals are going to happen. As a goalie, when you give (up) a goal, you have to focus on the next shot. I was early in the game, so we kept our heads up."

O'Donnell, who appeared in the Finals with New Jersey in 2001, blamed himself for the goal.

"I'd like to have that one back," he said. "I saw it there (in the air), and I just tried to whack it out. I didn't touch it. I should have taken a deep breath and tried to swat it away."

The tally came on the first of just three shots in the period by the Senators.

Emery made a big save on Corey Perry with 9 1/2 minutes remaining in the first period to preserve the advantage, but Andy McDonald drew Anaheim even shortly thereafter.

About to be checked into the left wing boards by Drew Miller, Senators defenseman Wade Redden turned over the puck to Teemu Selanne. The "Finnish Flash" quickly dished to McDonald, who beat Emery with a snap shot from the inner edge of the left circle at 10:55 for his sixth goal of the postseason.

A sixth-round pick in 2003 and the younger brother of Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, 23-year-old Drew Miller was playing in just his second NHL game.

"I certainly give him credit to come in and play like that," McDonald said. "It's probably not easy. I'm sure he was pretty nervous, but he did a really good job. ... On the goal, he went in and made contact, and they turned the puck over. He was strong for us tonight."

Rugged veteran Brad May nearly put the Ducks ahead with just over seven minutes to go, but his shot off a rebound in front glided just wide of the right post.

"They came hard," Fisher said of Anaheim's play in the first. "We knew that was going to happen. We knew they were gong to come hard, and we knew we'd get our chances, too."

Moments after fellow defenseman Joe Corvo hit the right post in the second period, Redden atoned for his earlier miscue with a man-advantage goal at 4:36. From the blue line, the veteran blasted a shot that sailed past Giguere, who had his stick inadvertently knocked away by Scott Niedermayer prior to Corvo's chance.

Already down by a goal, Anaheim dodged a major bullet in the middle session when Selke Trophy candidate Pahlsson was called for slashing just 25 seconds after defenseman Francois Beauchemin took a tripping penalty. But the Senators managed just three shots on Giguere during the 5-on-3 while committing a pair of turnovers.

"We've got to be careful with the penalties," Giguere said. "Throughout the playoffs, we've taken too many penalties, and again tonight. We cannot always blame the referee for that. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and see what we can do better."

The Ducks answered again less than six minutes into the third. After carrying the puck over the blue line, Perry completed a pass to fellow 2003 first-round pick Ryan Getzlaf at the top of the right circle.

Second in the league with three game-winning goals this postseason, Getzlaf drove to the net before slipping a backhander past Emery on the far side at 5:44, forging a 2-2 tie.

"Not too many players can score that type of goal," Carlyle said.

"We're a team that isn't going to give up," Scott Niedermayer said. "We're not going to stop just because we're down by a goal, and we've found ways to get back into games. You have to do that because you're not always going to be ahead. You have to find ways to win."

Anaheim had a golden opportunity to move ahead with 10:24 left. Pahlsson delivered a heavy hit on Alfredsson just inside the Senators' blue line, knocking Ottawa's captain off the puck.

Pahlsson gained possession and passed to Moen, who was denied from in front by Emery, keeping the contest even.

Emery finished with 29 saves for the Senators, who went 2-for-7 on the power play to snap an 0-for-16 drought.

"Emery played real well, real well," Murray said. "I thought he made some stops. He was very effective through the night. He got slashed I don't know how many times after the fact. But the bottom line is, he made some stops."

Alfredsson and Spezza each had an assist, while Heatley was kept off the scoresheet. Spezza's assist was his 21st point of the playoffs, tying him with Heatley for the scoring lead.

"We had a couple of good shifts," Alfredsson said. "But we can do a little bit better with the puck, make some smarter plays. I think we made it a little bit too easy for them tonight."

"They did a good job checking," Spezza added. "It's not so much what they did, it's what we didn't do as a line. We didn't have as much jump. When you don't have jump and you're not hard on pucks, you don't get as many chances."

Giguere turned aside 18 shots for Anaheim, which improved to 4-0 all-time at home in the Stanley Cup Finals.

"I think we should be happy with this effort," Giguere said. "I think we were a little nervous in the beginning. But we wanted to get a big win out of this game, and we should be happy."








  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1 0 2
    ANAHEIM 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - (PP) MIKE FISHER 4 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, MIKE COMRIE) 1:38
    ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 6 (TEEMU SELANNE) 10:55
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) WADE REDDEN 3 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, JASON SPEZZA)
    4:36
    3RD PRD: ANA - RY

    May 28 10:50 PM


  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL OTTAWA 2
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: ANA - TRAVIS MOEN 5 (ROB NIEDERMAYER, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    17:09

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 10:44 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 52 roots (Close Finish)

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 10:44 PM
  • 70
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    RUWTbot Added 65 roots (Close Finish)

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 10:39 PM


  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL OTTAWA 2
    ANAHEIM 2
    3RD PRD: ANA - RYAN GETZLAF 6 (COREY PERRY, RICHARD JACKMAN) 5:44

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 10:21 PM


  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1 2
    ANAHEIM 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - (PP) MIKE COMRIE 3 (MIKE FISHER, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 1:38
    ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 6 (TEEMU SELANNE) 10:55
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) WADE REDDEN 3 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, JASON SPEZZA)
    4:36
    SHOT

    May 28 9:52 PM


  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL OTTAWA 2
    ANAHEIM 1
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) WADE REDDEN 3 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, JASON SPEZZA)
    4:36

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 9:23 PM


  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1
    ANAHEIM 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - (PP) MIKE COMRIE 3 (MIKE FISHER, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 1:38
    ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 6 (TEEMU SELANNE) 10:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 4

    May 28 8:55 PM


  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL OTTAWA 1
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 6 (TEEMU SELANNE) 10:55

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 8:39 PM


  • STANLEY CUP FINALS
    NHL OTTAWA 1
    ANAHEIM 0
    1ST PRD: OTT - (PP) MIKE COMRIE 3 (MIKE FISHER, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 1:38

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 8:22 PM
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    MDlifer90 Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. DucksMay 28 3:20 PM