Sat, May 27, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Mighty Ducks finally beat the Oilers

CONFERENCE FINALS Anaheim won a must-win game in Edmonton to stay in the Western Conference final series with the Oilers


Andy McDonald, left, of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, controls the puck against Jaroslav Spacek of the Edmonton Oilers during the first period of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals in Edmonton, Alberta, on Thursday.


Dustin Penner and Joffrey Lupul scored twice for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who stayed alive in the Western Conference finals with a 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere returned to the Anaheim goal for his first start since April 29 -- a span of nine games -- and made 20 saves as the Mighty Ducks extended the series and snapped the Oilers' seven-game winning streak.

They will return home for Game 5 tonight. Anaheim still trails 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Only two NHL teams have rallied from such a deficit to win.

The Mighty Ducks took a 3-0 lead in the first period when Penner scored twice and fellow rookie Ryan Getzlaf added a goal.

Marc-Andre Bergeron got Edmonton on the board early in the second period, but Anaheim defenseman Ruslan Salei made it 4-1 less than 2 minutes later.

Edmonton got within one goal when Ryan Smyth and Georges Laraque scored in the second period, but Lupul made it 5-3 with only 1:38 left in the frame and then added an empty-netter in the final seconds of the game to seal the win for the Ducks.

Dwayne Roloson allowed five goals on 40 shots and lost for the first time since Game 2 of Edmonton's second-round series against San Jose.

The Oilers won the final four of that matchup to eliminate the Sharks and then took the first three from Anaheim, which had lost 13 straight at Edmonton. The Ducks hadn't won there since Feb. 24, 1999.

Wayne Gretzky's wife and a Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach might sue New Jersey for US$50 million each, contending their reputations were damaged after state officials leaked information from wiretaps in a case involving a multimillion-dollar sports betting ring.

In two separate notices -- often a precursor to a lawsuit -- the attorneys named the New Jersey Department of Law and the State Police for allegedly leaking information to the media about recorded conversations. The notices were filed May 8.

Gretzky and his wife, Janet Jones, were linked to the ring allegedly run by Phoenix Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet, a former NHL player and close friend of Gretzky, the Coyotes' head coach.

New Jersey authorities announced charges in February against Tocchet, a New Jersey state trooper and another New Jersey man for running a nationwide sports gambling operation. State police said wagers -- primarily on professional football -- exceeded US$1.7 million during a five week investigation period leading to the Super Bowl.

Jones is alleged to have placed large bets through Tocchet. She has not been charged with any crime but is expected to be subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating gambling activity, attorneys said.

Tocchet is on an indefinite leave from the Coyotes.

Tocchet's notice indicated that if a lawsuit is filed, he'll seek US$50 million for the damage to his reputation, his current salary loss, the loss of future employment opportunities as a head coach of an NHL team and future endorsement opportunities.

His notice cites 10 news stories where some contents of recorded conversations were publicly reported. Tocchet's attorney, Kevin Marino, said his client and Jones have two years to file a lawsuit although they may ultimately choose not to sue.

A call to Jones' attorney by AP on Thursday was not immediately returned.

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