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GAME 5 REPORT

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FIRST PERIOD

Highlight reel: After Petr Sykora gave the Ducks an early lead, the Devils’ Turner Stevenson and Pascal Rheaume hooked up for a textbook goal to tie the score at 1-1. Stevenson, playing in his first game since suffering a groin injury against Ottawa on May 21, picked up a loose puck behind the Ducks’ net and skated wide outside the right post before finding Rheaume open on the other side of the crease. All Rheaume had to do was redirect Stevenson’s perfect pass around goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 3:35.

*--* MIGHTY DUCKS 2, DEVILS 2 Shots Penalty Faceoffs won Power Play minutes DUCKS 12 6 14 0-1 DEVILS 11 4 10 1-2

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Key moment: With the Devils ahead, 2-1, the Ducks’ Steve Rucchin stepped up with a huge play. Sykora created the scoring chance by working hard for the puck in the Devils’ zone and then finding Rucchin cutting hard to the net. Rucchin beat the Devils’ John Madden and Jay Pandolfo to Sykora’s pass and then before being hit by Brian Gionta, Rucchin fired the puck past New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur for the Ducks’ second goal of the game.

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Not in summary: The Ducks and Devils both brought their tough-team attitudes for Game 5 and the result was a chippy, wide-open first period. The Ducks did a better job in standing up against the Devils, who roughed them up in Games 1 and 2, and the nasty cut on Madden’s cheek said it all.

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SECOND PERIOD

*--* DEVILS 4, MIGHTY DUCKS 3 Shots Penalty Faceoffs won Power Play minutes DUCKS 7 4 11 0-0 DEVILS 13 0 14 0-2

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Highlight reel: The Ducks’ Rob Niedermayer is a load to handle when he throws his weight around, and he did just that to help the Ducks score. After Duck defenseman Keith Carney hustled from one side of the ice to the other to keep the puck in the Devils’ zone, Niedermayer carried it along the boards before passing to teammate Samuel Pahlsson. From the left circle, Pahlsson smashed a one-timer past Brodeur to tie the score at 3-3.

Key moment: Winger Mike Leclerc has had a top-notch playoff run for the Ducks, but he certainly suffered a bad bounce on a play that led to the Devils’ third goal. After the Devils’ Gionta launched a centering pass from the right corner that deflected off Sandis Ozolinsh’s stick, Leclerc tried to knock the puck out of the air. Unfortunately for Leclerc and the Ducks, he smacked the puck behind Giguere and into the net to give New Jersey a 3-2 lead at 3:12.

Not in summary: The lengthy wait it took officials to decide to allow a goal scored off the skate by New Jersey’s Pandolfo. Although the on-ice officials disallowed the goal, the video replay officials did not agree. They ruled that Pandolfo did not kick the puck intentionally because he was tied up with Duck defenseman Kurt Sauer.

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THIRD PERIOD

*--* DEVILS 6, MIGHTY DUCKS 3 Shots Penalty Faceoffs won Power Play minutes DUCKS 4 2 7 0-0 DEVILS 13 2 9 0-0

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Highlight reel: The Devils’ Gionta isn’t the biggest player on the ice, but he used every inch of his 5-foot-7 frame to help set up Jamie Langenbrunner’s second goal of the game. After a deflected New Jersey shot failed to reach the net and bounced loose into the slot, Gionta stretched his stick while diving on his stomach and redirected the puck to Langenbrunner, who scored to give the Devils a 6-3 lead at 12:52.

Key moment: You will not see a bigger pressure save than the one Brodeur made against Ozolinsh, which kept the Ducks from closing within a goal midway into the period. Adam Oates got the play started when he beat two New Jersey defenders for the puck and passed to the left corner to Paul Kariya, who found Ozolinsh open in the slot. But Brodeur made sure that the Devils kept a 5-3 lead by stopping Ozolinsh’s attempt at 12:22.

Not in summary: The bounce the puck took that led to Langenbrunner’s first goal. New Jersey defenseman Scott Niedermayer passed to Michael Rupp, whose shot deflected off Ozolinsh and bounced off the backboards directly to Langenbrunner, who scored from the slot to give the Devils a 5-3 lead at 5:39.

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