Edmonton advances to first Stanley Cup finals since 1990

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks outshot the

Edmonton Oilers in every game of the Western Conference finals.

What the Oilers did with all those shots -- blocking, screening and

clogging the shooting lanes -- proved the difference.

Edmonton Oilers
when leading best-of-7 series 3-0



Won in 5



Won in 4



Won in 4



Won in 4



Won in 4



Won in 4



Won in 4



Won in 4



Won in 5

Raffi Torres scored the go-ahead goal on a tipped shot in the

second period, helping Edmonton eliminate the Ducks 2-1 Saturday

night and advance to the Stanley Cup finals.

The eighth-seeded Oilers won the conference finals 4-1 and will

play for the Cup for the first time since winning it in 1990 for

the fifth time in seven seasons.

"This team is similar to our 1990 team because this is so

unexpected and we have good goal scoring," said Oilers coach Craig

MacTavish, who played on that squad. "Our goaltending was terrific

the whole series. Our special teams were outstanding. This is the

third series we have won that battle."

Edmonton awaits either Carolina or Buffalo, whose Eastern

Conference finals series is tied 2-2. The Oilers are the

lowest-seeded team to ever reach the finals in the current playoff


"It's awesome as a team," goalie Dwayne Roloson said. "We

came from the eighth spot, but it doesn't mean anything now."

The Ducks outshot the Oilers in all five games, including a

33-25 advantage Saturday. But Anaheim returned to the offensive

slump it was in the first two games, when the Ducks scored two

goals, after combining to score 10 in Games 3 and 4.

"It was a strange series that way, where three of those games

we just couldn't find the back of the net," defenseman Scott

Niedermayer said.

Roloson stopped 32 shots and earned his NHL-leading 12th

postseason victory for Edmonton, which won the first three games of

the series before losing at home Thursday night.

"I felt great, healthy again and a lot of energy, where I

didn't have it in the last game," said Roloson, who had been hit

by the flu bug that infected the Oilers' locker room.

Edmonton has won eight of nine since falling behind San Jose 2-0

in the previous series.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere was in the Anaheim goal for his second

straight game after being benched since the opening round against

Calgary, but he couldn't spark the sixth-seeded Ducks again.

The Oilers killed off all but one of their 11 penalties.

"We didn't chase them from behind their net," Edmonton

defenseman Chris Pronger said. "If you do that, their speed will

beat you every time."

Elias Says

Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers had the 14th-best record in the NHL during the regular season. Only three other teams reached the Stanley Cup finals following a regular season in which they ranked as low as 14th in the league: Minnesota in 1991 (16th), Vancouver in 1994 (14th) and Carolina in 2002 (16th). None of those teams won the Stanley Cup.

• For more Elias Says, Click here

Anaheim's Niedermayer brothers, Rob and Scott, both narrowly

missed tying the game on power-play attempts in the third.

"We weren't able to get any clear looks and clear shots and get

them by their guys," forward Rob Niedermayer said.

The Ducks pulled Giguere for an extra attacker with about 3

minutes remaining, but Roloson withstood the flurry of traffic

around the net, including the Ducks' 6-on-3 opportunity.

"I don't think the better team beat us. We beat ourselves,"

said Teemu Selanne, who was scoreless on four shots. "They played

a very patient game. They were blocking so many shots that I

haven't seen before and it's going to make an easier job for the


Edmonton rallied from a one-goal deficit and scored twice in the

second period.

"After us hunting them in their end and doing a lot of good

things, we couldn't get it across the goal line," Ducks coach

Randy Carlyle said. "And they'd come down and have a little bit of

flurry and get results from it."

A slap shot by Marc-Andre Bergeron was tipped off Torres' stick

as he fought off a Ducks defender at 8:31, giving Edmonton a 2-1


"Bergeron just kind of threw it at the net," Giguere said.

"It was going way wide to my right and he tipped it top-shelf.

That's definitely one of their strengths. They know how to go to

the net and they're really good at tipping those pucks and creating

some hard situations for the goalie."

The Oilers tied it on a wraparound goal by Ethan Moreau at 3:42.

Giguere blocked Moreau's initial shot with his stick, but Moreau

got another chance and sent the puck through a narrow opening

between Giguere and the post.

Anaheim had its towel-waving fans on their feet with a

power-play goal at 7:30 of the first. Francois Beauchemin's slap

shot from the blue line sailed into the top of the net after

Jaroslav Spacek was sent off for hooking.Game notes
Torres scored for the first time since the Oilers'

semifinal win over San Jose. ... Roloson's 12 wins are the most by

an Oilers goalie since Bill Ranford won 16 in the 1990 playoffs.

... The Ducks finished a combined 1-6-1 against Edmonton in the

regular season and playoffs this season.