DEVILS 0, MIGHTY DUCKS 0
Highlight reel: Behind forward Sergei Brylin’s gritty play, New Jersey came close to scoring the game’s first goal with five minutes remaining in the period, but the Ducks scrambled just enough around goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere to keep it scoreless. Defenseman Ruslan Salei tied up the Devils’ Brian Gionta and prevented him from getting to a rebound after Giguere stopped Brylin’s point-blank shot from the left circle.
*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DUCKS 7 4 13 0-0 DEVILS 7 0 8 0-2
Key moment: Slowed by tight defense in Game 1, Paul Kariya was able to set up a good scoring chance early in the period only to come up empty. With the Ducks in transition, Kariya took a pass from Salei at the blue line and slipped around New Jersey defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky to the left side of the net. But when Kariya launched a centering pass, there were more Devils in position for the puck than Ducks. Kariya’s closest teammate was center Steve Rucchin, who never had a chance to get off a shot on net.
Not in the summary: After being flat in Game 1, the Ducks started off with more urgency on Thursday, highlighted by aggressive hitting from Salei and forwards Rob Niedermayer and Mike Leclerc. Although the Ducks did not dominate the play, they stood up to the Devils’ aggressiveness much better..
*--* DEVILS 2, MIGHTY DUCKS 0 Shots Penalty Faceoffs won Power Play minutes DUCKS 2 2 12 0-1 DEVILS 6 2 4 1-1
Highlight reel: Any momentum the Ducks thought they had after a strong first period was quickly lost in the second when Patrik Elias scored the first power-play goal of the series. With the Ducks’ Petr Sykora in the penalty box for holding, the Devils got the puck to Tverdovsky, who from the right point fired a shot that was blocked by Giguere. But with Duck defenseman Kurt Sauer tied up with Grant Marshall in front of the net, Giguere never had a chance after leaving a rebound for a wide-open Elias, who scored easily from outside the right post to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.
Key moment: Trailing by a single goal is one thing, but when a team falls behind by two, it’s a much different story. That became the case for the Ducks, who picked up their play following Elias’ power-play goal only to lose control minutes later. Scott Gomez and Elias got the play started when they outworked Steve Thomas and Stanislav Chistov to keep the puck in the Ducks’ zone. Gomez then hustled to the front of the net and deflected Tverdovsky’s blue-line blast past Giguere at 12:11.
Not in the summary: The Devils may not be the biggest team in the league, but their tenacity has helped them create a great deal of traffic in front of Giguere.
*--* DEVILS 3, MIGHTY DUCKS 0 Shots Penalty Faceoffs won Power Play minutes DUCKS 7 2 13 0-2 DEVILS 12 4 10 0-1
Highlight reel: Without his stick after it got knocked out of his hands by teammate Scott Niedermayer, New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur made a glove save that would make Hall-of-Fame catcher Yogi Berra proud. The Ducks, who have had difficulty creating scoring opportunities, had good traffic in front of the net and moved the puck around to defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh, who fired a shot from the top of the right circle only to have Brodeur slide across the crease for a diving glove save.
Key moment: After Jeff Friesen gave the Devils a commanding 3-0 lead at 4:22, the biggest challenge for the Ducks was to not get shut out for the second game in a row. But New Jersey bottled up Kariya & Co. The Ducks had only 16 shots for the second successive game.
Not in the summary: After giving up his third goal of the game, Giguere lost his cool and broke his stick by slamming it onto the ice. It’s easy to understand Giguere’s frustrations. Friesen, a former Duck, beat him with a backhand shot from the left circle. Giguere did not have much traffic in front of him when he appeared to be caught flat-footed on the low shot to the stick side.