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GAME 7 REPORT / STANLEY CUP FINALS

Game 7 Report

June 10, 2003|Lonnie White

First Period

MIGHTY DUCKS 0, DEVILS 0

*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DUCKS 5 0 9 0-1 DEVILS 7 2 7 0-0

*--*

Highlight reel: After holding off a Devil rush midway into the period, the Ducks made a nice counterattack and almost scored against goaltender Martin Brodeur. Samuel Pahlsson carried the puck into the Devil zone and passed to veteran Steve Thomas on the right side. Thomas skated to the edge of the right circle and fired a left-hand shot that Brodeur snatched from the air with his glove.

Key moment: New Jersey forward Patrik Elias showed off his skating skills when he tracked down a loose puck only to be denied by goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. With the Devils playing short-handed for the first time in the game, Elias picked up the puck outside the right circle in the Duck zone and then made a sharp cut in front of defenseman Niclas Havelid. But Giguere was more than ready to make a save with his left leg when Elias tried a delayed reach-around shot with 1:36 remaining.

Not in the summary: How New Jersey fans cheered every time veteran defenseman Ken Daneyko touched the puck. Daneyko, who has played his entire 18-season career with the Devils, was making his first appearance of the Cup finals after being a healthy scratch for the first six games, and the fans made sure he heard their appreciation. Daneyko, who had not played since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa, replaced former Duck Oleg Tverdovsky in the lineup.

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Second Period

DEVILS 2, MIGHTY DUCKS 0

*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DUCKS 9 2 14 0-0 DEVILS 12 0 9 0-1

*--*

Highlight reel: It wasn't pretty, but the Devils had to love their first goal. Defenseman Scott Niedermayer launched a soft blue-line shot to the net and rookie center Michael Rupp did the rest. Playing on a line with Jeff Friesen and Jamie Langenbrunner, Rupp used his size and strength to break free from Pahlsson and from the slot, he deflected Niedermayer's shot between Giguere's legs to put New Jersey ahead, 1-0, at 2:22.

Key moment: Rupp was in the middle of things again when he helped free Friesen enough for him to score maybe the biggest goal of the series to give New Jersey a two-goal lead at 12:18. Rupp muscled his way around center Adam Oates into the slot and Friesen won a battle for the puck against rookie Kurt Sauer near the right circle. Once Friesen got off his shot, all Giguere could do was make a late attempt at a kick save. But the puck was in the net and the Devils were ahead, 2-0.

Not in the summary: Brodeur might have been pulled in the third period of Game 6 after giving up five goals, but he was on top of his game when the Devils needed him in this period. After Rupp's goal gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead, the Ducks increased their pressure on Brodeur but he never wavered in keeping players such as Petr Sykora, Oates, Steve Rucchin and Paul Kariya from scoring. Brodeur's steadiness seemed to give the Devils more confidence as the game went on.

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Third Period

DEVILS 3, MIGHTY DUCKS 0

*--* Shots Penalty minutes Faceoffs won Power Play DUCKS 10 2 12 0-0 DEVILS 6 0 9 0-1

*--*

Highlight reel: Friesen showed that he can celebrate with the best of them after he scored his second goal of the game to give the Devils a 3-0 lead with 3:44 remaining. Friesen skated with his right arm holding a stick straight up in the air in front of his former team's bench after scoring his fifth goal of the series. Friesen made it look easy as he skated around defenseman Keith Carney before beating Giguere with a quick shot from the inside edge of the right circle to clinch the Cup for the Devils.

Key moment: The Ducks blew a great opportunity to get back into the game early in the period when they failed to score during a lengthy scramble near the Devil net. The Ducks' most physical line -- Rob Niedermayer, Mike Leclerc and Rucchin -- did everything it could but just couldn't get the puck past Brodeur nearly five minutes into the period. Brodeur again was up for the challenge as he made a couple of quality stops to keep the Devils ahead by two goals.

Not in the summary: How New Jersey fans booed NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman when he announced that the Ducks' Giguere -- not Brodeur -- was selected as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. But the Devil players showed plenty of class when they applauded Giguere as he accepted the award and it was nice to hear the cheers for Brodeur when he skated to the middle of the ice.

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-- Lonnie White

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