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Giguere's Victory Is Postmarked, 2-0

Minnesota comes close to scoring several times, but the Duck goalie makes 28 saves in Anaheim's win.

March 04, 2004|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

There are days where being lucky is better than being good.

Mighty Duck goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere heard the soothing sound of puck going off metal more than a few times. Samuel Pahlsson was in the right spot at the right time twice. And the Ducks walked away with a game that could have so easily gone the other way.

Pahlsson's two goals and Giguere's 28 saves got the Ducks a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild Wednesday night. An announced crowd of 12,747 at the Arrowhead Pond watched the Ducks get outplayed for the most part, yet come away with two points.

It got them a day closer to the end of the season and a day closer to Tuesday's trade deadline.

"We came out flat and played flat through two periods," Giguere said. "There are no excuses for that. We got to be more desperate than that. It was a good win for us, but we got to play better."

Still, Giguere said, "It's not like we were trying to be brutal."

The Ducks accomplished it, though, through two periods. Giguere propped them up.

Pahlsson finally wrapped up the game by picking up a turnover and firing a wrist shot past goaltender Manny Fernandez, who had lost his stick and seemed preoccupied with getting the net back on its moorings. He turned around in time to see Pahlsson's shot whiz by him to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead at 10 minutes 50 seconds into the third period.

It was the first multi-goal game for Pahlsson and might get his name mentioned in one of the many telephone calls Duck General Manager Bryan Murray is receiving these days from teams in the playoff race.

"If a good deal is made, I'll seriously consider it," Murray said. "If not, we'll continue doing what we are doing."

That would include a too-little, too-late surge that started after the All-Star break. The Ducks have a 7-3-1-1 record since then, although they certainly could feel fortunate through two periods Wednesday. They were listless, but they were lucky.

The Wild outshot the Ducks, 22-9, through two periods but remained scoreless.

Giguere had what was far from his slickest performance, but he did make a big save on Pascal Dupuis, who got free behind the Duck defense, to preserve a 1-0 lead in the second period.

Giguere thanked the pipes. "That's a nice sound to hear behind you," said Giguere, who had his 19th career shutout.

All those chances and the Wild got nothing. Then Pahlsson picked up a turnover, passed to Jason Krog, who immediately returned the puck. Pahlsson chipped a shot into a gapping net at 10:41 of the second period.

At that point, the Wild had an 11-2 shot advantage in the period. But the Ducks had a 1-0 lead.

The Ducks on-ice surge is tempered by off-ice wheeling and dealing. Murray has repeatedly said he would not trade the core of the team but always adds that he will listen to any offer.

"There are a handful of teams that think they can win the Cup now," Murray said. "If you're looking at the long term, it's a little difficult. You want to make a deal that's good for the future."

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