By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer
May 1, 2003, 6:30 AM EDT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Same old Mighty Ducks' tale -- excellent
goaltending and timely scoring. Mike Leclerc scored on a power play
with 1:47 remaining, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 28 saves for his
first postseason shutout as Anaheim beat the Dallas Stars 1-0 on
The Ducks, who swept defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit in the
first round, took a 3-1 lead over the Stars in their Western
Conference semifinals. Game 5 is Saturday in Dallas.
"They can frustrate you, and they are opportunistic. They're a
determined group, well-coached, and they play a good style for the
playoffs," Dallas' Rob DiMaio said. "They're patient and they don't
crack. They get the opportunity at the right time, and, boom. That's
how they've won."
Leclerc provided the "boom" in Game 4.
With Dallas' Jason Arnott off for cross-checking Rob Niedermayer,
defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh made a cross-ice pass to Leclerc, who
wristed a shot from 20 feet that beat Marty Turco high on the glove
The goal came on Anaheim's 22nd and final shot of the game.
"I missed a chance two or three shifts before that, so it was an
amazing feeling," said Leclerc, who has two goals this postseason. "I
was in the right place at the right time."
In the other game Wednesday night, New Jersey took a 3-1 series lead
over Tampa Bay with a 3-1 victory. Ottawa, leading 2-1, is at
Philadelphia on Thursday night. On Friday, Vancouver, leading 2-1, is
Dallas coach Dave Tippett obviously wasn't pleased with the penalty
by Arnott, his second in less than seven minutes.
"You just can't put yourself in that position," Tippett said.
Arnott said, "I didn't think I hit him that hard. That's a tough call
that late in the game, but I'm not going to whine about it."
Then, of course, there was the net magic provided by Giguere, who has
been sensational in his first postseason.
"They're riding on his shoulders. He's probably playing the best
hockey of his life," said the Stars' Mike Modano, who seemed to have
Giguere beat on a shot in the third period -- only to see the Anaheim
goalie slide across the crease and stop the puck with his skate.
"He made a couple of phenomenal saves. He's in a zone that's hard to
understand right now," Modano said.
Giguere was preparing to go overtime again for the Ducks, who have
played four already -- all wins -- in the postseason.
"But we got a big power-play goal at the end. It was awesome,"
Giguere said. "I didn't want to get my emotions too high because
there was still time left on the board and I'd have to battle through
the last minute and a half."
The 25-year-old Giguere set a club record with eight shutouts during
the regular season, then was outstanding as the Ducks stunned the Red
Wings in the opening round.
"The good thing about goaltenders is that they are special people,"
Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "When the score is all zeros, you
know that one goal will win the game -- and that is a lot of
With the Ducks' seven postseason wins -- and one loss -- all by one
goal, Giguere is getting used to the pressure. He made 10 saves in
the third period.
Evoking the memories -- and the similarities -- of the underdog
Anaheim Angels' run to the World Series championship last fall, the
Mighty Ducks are just one win away from making the NHL's final four.
They're certainly not looking ahead, however.
"Right now we've got a few minutes to enjoy this win and then we've
got to focus on the next game. The next game is the most important
game of the year," said Giguere, who says that after every game.
Anaheim won the first game of the series 4-3 in the fifth overtime,
the fourth-longest game in league history. The Ducks took the second
game 3-2 early in the first overtime. Dallas then won its first of
the series, 2-1 on Monday night in Anaheim.
The Stars beat Edmonton in six games in the opening round, winning
three straight after falling behind 2-1.
Devils 3, Lightning 1
At Tampa, Fla., Scott Stevens scored a goal and anchored another
strong performance by the NHL's top defense.
Stevens missed all but 77 seconds of Game 3 Monday night after Pavel
Kubina's slap shot hit him in the side of the face, opening a cut
that required 15 stitches.
Scott Gomez and Patrik Elias also scored for New Jersey, and Martin
Brodeur had nine of his 25 saves in the third period. Game 5 is