EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- With the offense clicking like this,
the Anaheim Mighty Ducks probably would've stayed alive in the
Western Conference finals no matter who was protecting their goal.
• Anaheim out-shot Edmonton 25-3 in the first period. It was the largest shot differential in any period of a playoff game since 1980, when Minnesota outshot Toronto 30-5 in the second period.
• Anaheim won 6-3 at Edmonton. It marked the third time in this year's playoffs that a team staved off a series sweep by winning on the road. Dallas did it at Colorado on April 28 and Ottawa did it at Buffalo on May 11. Since 1982, only one other NHL team stayed alive when trailing in the series 3-0 by winning on the road: Buffalo (at Philadelphia) in 1997.
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They will return home to Anaheim for Game 5 on Saturday night
still facing long odds. The Mighty Ducks cut the Oilers' series
lead to 3-1 but know that only two NHL teams have dug out of an 0-3
hole to win.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere was in goal, making his first start since
April 29 -- a span of nine games. He stopped 20 shots and helped
snap the Oilers' seven-game winning streak.
The Mighty Ducks, who had only six goals in the opening three
losses, took a 3-0 lead in the first period when Penner scored
twice and fellow rookie Ryan Getzlaf also tallied.
"I don't know if you could go through our lineup and find a guy
who didn't do something great for our team," Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said. "It's what you need at this time of year."
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.
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.
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. He is 11-5 in these playoffs.
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,
Giguere hadn't started since he was replaced by rookie Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 5 of the first-round series against Calgary. He
showed some rust in allowing three goals on the first nine shots he
faced, but was good enough to improve to 3-2 in this postseason.
"It was pretty hard. It's been a month since I played,"
Giguere said. "I'm just happy that I was able to go through and
that we got the win."
Giguere wasn't surprised to get the call with the Ducks facing
"I was sort of expecting it," he said. "When you are down
three-nothing you have to make some changes and see what happens."
The Ducks came at Roloson in waves in the first period, skating
in and firing at will at the Oilers' defense that went from solid
in the first three contests to loose in Game 4.
"We got a lesson into being seduced into getting away from our
aggressiveness," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "They are
obviously a confident group heading back to Anaheim. We've got to
turn the tide in Anaheim. We've got to do several things, the most
important thing is to be aggressive."
Anaheim took its first lead of the series at 7:28, when Teemu Selanne swooped in front of the net and passed the puck through the
crease. It ricocheted off the skate of Oilers defenseman Jaroslav Spacek and into the net. Penner was credited with the goal.
He scored again at 15:11, taking a pass in the corner from
Selanne and firing the puck through traffic under Roloson's pads.
The third came on a 5-on-3, one of the Ducks' four two-man
advantages. Andy McDonald zipped the puck through the slot for a
one-timer by Getzlaf.
The 25 shots were the most Edmonton ever allowed in a playoff
period, topping the 20 recorded by Vancouver in 1992.
"I thought the first couple of shifts were good, then we got
back on our heels," MacTavish said. "We didn't survive the first
Selanne said the Ducks have been the better team all series
long, but just didn't have the results to show for it.
"We've faced lot of hot goaltenders," he said. "It had to end
sooner or later. There's a reason why these things go best of
seven. I really believe the better team is going to turn this
Bergeron, Laraque and Smyth all scored in the second period for
the Oilers, who lost at home for just the second time this
Bergeron fired a one-timer over Giguere's glove from the circle
on a 5-on-3 power play about three minutes in. Smyth scored on a
tip-in 4 minutes later.
Laraque scored his first playoff goal in more than three years
at the midway point when he corralled Chris Pronger's point shot in
the slot, moved around a sprawling Giguere to score. He then raced
to the corner and launched himself headlong into the glass to face
the cheering fans.
Anaheim managed to stay ahead in the second on Salei's goal from
the point and a late score by Lupul, who jumped on a faceoff
scramble to the left of Roloson and fired the puck over the
"We just found a way these last two games to score nine
goals," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "That in itself is a
hurdle that we have overcome. For a while we were offensively
challenged, and now in two games we've found a crack in the
The Oilers, with as many as 10 players battling the flu, are the
first eighth-place seed to advance to the conference finals. They
are trying to get back to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time
in 16 years.
The Ducks lost the first two games of the series by identical
3-1 scores before the teams combined for nine goals in Game 3.Game notes
Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 22 shots in Game 3. ... The
Oilers had two familiar faces return to the lineup. Shifty winger
Radek Dvorak came back after being out since the first game of the
San Jose series with a sprained knee. Forward Raffi Torres returned
after missing two games because of the flu. ... The most shots
against the Oilers in any period was 29 by Detroit in 1979.
- Dan O'Halloran
- Paul Devorski
- Jay Sharrers
- Scott Driscoll