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STANLEY CUP FINALS * NEW JERSEY VS. MIGHTY DUCKS

Game 3 Report

June 01, 2003|Lonnie White

FIRST PERIOD

MIGHTY DUCKS 0, DEVILS 0

*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DEVILS 8 4 7 0-2 DUCKS 9 6 15 0-1

*--*

Highlight reel: Paul Kariya could not have hoped for a better opportunity to break out of his scoring slump late in the period. After New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur smacked away a blue-line shot by Duck defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh, the rebound bounced directly to Kariya, and the Ducks' captain found himself unchecked at the bottom of the right circle. Brodeur, however, showed why he's one of the NHL's all-time great goalies by recovering in time to make a leg pad save on Kariya's first great look of the Stanley Cup finals.

Key moments: The Ducks' Steve Thomas and Mike Leclerc made sure that the Devils understood they were facing a much more tenacious team early in the game when both players picked up penalties within the first four minutes. Thomas was called for cross-checking when he crushed New Jersey forward John Madden near the sideboards 15 seconds after the opening faceoff. Minutes later, Leclerc sent his own message when he picked up a slashing penalty at 3:58. The Ducks then backed up their aggressiveness by shutting down both New Jersey power plays.

Not in the summary: How much more quickly the Ducks skated on their home ice compared to how they moved at the start of Games 1 and 2 on the road. In New Jersey, the Devils seemed to beat the Ducks to every loose puck, but the Western Conference champions opened with the better jump at the Pond.

*

SECOND PERIOD

MIGHTY DUCKS 2, DEVILS 1

*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DEVILS 12 0 9 0-1 DUCKS 9 2 11 0-0

*--*

Highlight reel: Penalty-killing specialists Dan Bylsma and Marc Chouinard teamed up with Ozolinsh to score the Ducks' first goal of the Cup finals. Bylsma's extra effort along the sideboards got the puck inside the Devil zone and once it got to Ozolinsh, he fired a solid blast from the left point. But before Ozolinsh's shot reached the net, Chouinard sneaked between New Jersey defensemen Tommy Albelin and Oleg Tverdovsky inside the left circle to deflect the puck just enough to get past Brodeur for a goal at 3:39.

Key moment: After falling behind for the first time in the series, the Devils immediately tried to respond with a goal of their own. For a while, the Ducks played team defense the way they did for the first three rounds of the playoffs, and then they had a major breakdown. Thanks to a slow line change by the Ducks, New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner made them pay by completing a picture-perfect cross-ice pass to Patrik Elias, who made an even better shot to beat Duck goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 14:02.

Not in the summary: How the Pond seemed to explode with excitement after Ozolinsh scored a fluke goal to beat Brodeur and give his team a 2-1 lead at 14:47. Duck fans mocked Brodeur with chants after he misplayed the puck that Ozolinsh shot from the neutral zone. Brodeur tried to play the puck and knock it to a teammate but he lost hold of his stick and Ozolinsh's innocent shot caromed into the net.

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THIRD PERIOD

MIGHTY DUCKS 2, DEVILS 2

*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DEVILS 8 2 12 0-1 DUCKS 10 2 19 0-1

*--*

Highlight reel: Brodeur may have looked a little shaky in the second period, but he flashed his skills early in the third to keep the Devils down by only a goal with a great save on Jason Krog. After Rob Niedermayer shook loose from New Jersey's Colin White and forced Brian Gionta to commit, Krog gathered in Niedermayer's pass from the top of the crease but had his shot swallowed up by Brodeur. It was the type of pressure save that goaltenders need to make in the playoffs, and Brodeur did just that to keep the Devils' comeback hopes alive.

Key moment: Brodeur's teammates responded to his great save on Krog by tying the score midway through the period with a great effort shift by forwards Grant Marshall, Elias and Scott Gomez. After the Ducks' Kurt Sauer tried to bat a rebound out of the air but instead sent the puck to Marshall, Gomez cut behind defenseman Keith Carney to deflect Marshall's shot over Giguere inside the right post at 9:11.

Not in the summary: How efficient the Devil penalty-killing unit was in keeping the Ducks from scoring a potential game-winning power-play goal after Gionta was called for slashing at 10:35. Although the Ducks had great puck movement while playing with a man advantage, the Devils' quick defenders prevented any uncontested scoring chances.

*

OVERTIME

MIGHTY DUCKS 3, DEVILS 2

*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DEVILS 3 0 2 0-0 DUCKS 5 0 6 0-0

*--*

Highlight reel: Veteran center Adam Oates is one of the best faceoff men in the game, and he cleanly won a draw against the Devils' Pascal Rheaume to set up defenseman Ruslan Salei's game-winning goal for the Ducks. Oates used a quick backhand move before Rheaume could get his stick on the ice and sent the puck to Salei, who finished the play with swift wrist shot that beat Brodeur low to his glove side.

Key moment: By taking the play to the Devils, the Ducks clearly were the stronger team at the start of overtime, but they needed Gigure to make a key pad save on a Madden breakaway less than five minutes into the extra period. Madden was able to get off a clean shot from the left circle after taking a pass in stride from Jeff Friesen, but Giguere wasn't fooled and made the stop at 4:12.

Not in the summary: The exhausted looks on the faces of the Devils' Elias and the Ducks' Ozolinsh after the players ended an energy-filled shift midway into overtime. Elias could barely make his way back to the New Jersey bench, while Ozolinsh gasped for air before sitting down after a wild shift that included consecutive end-to-end rushes up the ice. It was hockey at its best.

-- Lonnie White

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