Wed, May 14, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Mighty Ducks tame Wild


Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Steve Thomas, right, is stopped by MInnesota Wild goalie Dwayne Roloson during the third period in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Monday.


Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere was perfect again, and Kurt Sauer and Rob Niedermayer scored short-handed goals Monday night to lead the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Anaheim, which won the opener 1-0 in double overtime, has a 2-0 lead in this unlikely Western Conference final matchup. It is the third straight series this year that the Mighty Ducks have won the opening two games on the road. They are 6-1 away from home in the playoffs.

The series shifts to Anaheim for Game 3 on Wednesday.

If the Wild can't figure out a way to get the puck past Giguere, who made 24 saves, then they won't play another home game in their surprisingly successful third season.

Maybe Minnesota is better off leaving town, since it dropped to 2-6 at Xcel Energy Center in the postseason. The Wild are 6-2 on the road.

Giguere -- who made 24 saves -- hasn't given up a goal in more than 2 1/2 hours of action. He extended his scoreless streak to 153 minutes, 17 seconds, dating to Game 6 against Dallas in the second round -- a span of three games.

The Mighty Ducks complained of dead legs in the first game after their four-day layoff that followed their 4-2 series victory over Dallas. But they picked up their attack and gave Minnesota goalie Dwayne Roloson more to do than Manny Fernandez was given Saturday in Game 1.

Roloson made 20 saves for the Wild, who lost Game 1 despite outshooting the Ducks 39-26.

Anaheim improved in just about every aspect for Game 2, except for Giguere who was good enough already.

Sauer, Sandis Ozolinsh, and Keith Carney led a suffocating Ducks defense that jumped on nearly every puck in their zone. And not-so-crisp passing by the Wild made it even tougher for them to develop any scoring chances.

Minnesota, which took just one penalty in Game 1 to Anaheim's five, got a power play in the second period when Niedermayer was whistled for hooking.

Cliff Ronning, whose unobstructed slap shot earlier in the period whizzed just wide of the goal, sneaked in from behind the net and nearly poked one in between Giguere and the pipe.

Seconds later, Anaheim's Dan Bylsma won a battle for the puck at center ice and led his short-handed mates on an odd-man rush the other way.

Steve Rucchin circled through the slot and left the puck behind him for Sauer, who shot it low on Roloson's stick side and put the Ducks up 1-0 with his first career postseason goal.

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