|History gives Stanley Cup edge to Ducks|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 30 May 2007 18:42|
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -The Ducks are headed to Ottawa with history on their side.
Anaheim's 1-0 victory Wednesday night gave the Ducks a commanding 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals. Game 3 is Saturday in Ottawa.
Of the 30 home clubs that won the first two games of the finals since the best-of-seven format began in 1939, 29 went on to win the Cup.
The only team to win the championship after trailing 2-0 on the road was the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.
``We're excited to get back to our building,'' Ottawa's Joe Corvo said. ``It's going to be loud and it's going to help us out.''
HOLD UP: Dany Heatley, like his teammates frustrated that Ottawa isn't generating more offense, said the Senators aren't used to seeing the Ducks' brand of defense.
``They do a good job whether it's subtle or whether it's blatant,'' he said. ``They definitely play a real hold-up defensive style. We have to find ways (to overcome it).''
Isn't that style supposed to be against the rules now?
``No question,'' Heatley said.
SCORIN' SAMMY: Samuel Pahlsson's game-winning goal for Anaheim in the third period Wednesday was his second deciding one of the playoffs.
He also had the game-winner in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against Detroit.
``The most important thing is to win the game, but of course, it's great to score the goal,'' Pahlsson said.
The checking line of Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer has combined for five game-winning goals in the playoffs. Moen scored the game-winner in a 3-2 victory Monday in Game 1. Niedermayer has one game-winner.
MAN-ADVANTAGE: For the second consecutive game, Ottawa had a two-man advantage and didn't score.
Senators coach Bryan Murray credited Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere for stopping his team.
``We had four or five real good chances at the net. We jammed at it,'' Murray said. ``He made two stops and then the puck came back to us again. We got another chance. That's what the game of hockey is. It's create and hope that you can get one by.''
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': The Ducks' appearance marks the third time a California team has reached the Stanley Cup finals.
The first two went home empty-handed.
Anaheim took the 2003 finals to Game 7 before the New Jersey Devils captured the Cup. The Los Angeles Kings made it to the final round in 1993, but the Montreal Canadiens knocked them off in five games.
The only team from the West Coast to win the Stanley Cup wasn't from California, or even the United States. The Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League won it in 1925.
There hasn't been a champion from the West Coast of any kind since Stanley Cup play was restricted to NHL teams. That was 80 years ago.
DOWNSIZED: Goalies' equipment was downsized by the league a couple of years ago, and the Ducks' Jean-Sebastien Giguere said he learned to live with it.
``My equipment is 14 percent smaller,'' he said.
Some opponents in the past wondered whether Giguere, who tends to make most saves look routine, had pads that were larger than they were supposed to be.
He said there's no way that would happen.
``A company is just not allowed to send you equipment that's not legal, and it's got to go through the league before it gets to you,'' Giguere said. ``We all play with the same equipment. So we are all in the same boat.
``You have to pick equipment that's going to fit your style and how you play.''
NOTES: Anaheim improved to 11-2 in one-goal games in the playoffs, one short of the postseason record shared by the 2003 Ducks and the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. ... The announced crowd of 17,258 was the Ducks' 33rd consecutive sellout and included rapper Snoop Dogg and baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. ... Anaheim has outshot the Senators 63-36 in the series' first two games. ... At 5-0, the Ducks are undefeated at home in the finals. They won each of their three home games against the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 finals, but lost the Cup in seven games.