Ducks Classics to air on Prime Ticket

BY foxsports • October 15, 2012

Transitioning from the Mighty Ducks to the Anaheim Ducks, the 2000’s were an especially productive decade by the most successful team of the 1990’s wave of expansion. A Cinderella 2003 run as a seventh seed that began with a four-game sweep of the Detroit Red Wings and culminated in a seven-game loss to the New Jersey Devils in the Cup Final saw the emergence of goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who remains among the most popular figures to ever wear a Ducks jersey.

"In 2003, if you looked at our team, I don’t think anybody would have bet on us to go all the way to the finals," Giguere said early in 2012 during a visit to Anaheim as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. "We managed to have amazing years, being well coached and working hard and everybody buying into a system, everybody sacrificing themselves. That’s the purest example of how a hockey team should approach the season. It was just amazing to be able to go through that ride in 2003."

In 2007, Brian Burke’s well-built outfit that featured among the game’s greatest defensemen in Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger and a dynamic offense and lethal power play proved to be an incredibly difficult matchup for their four opponents, who conceded an average of 2.76 goals per game.

Re-broadcast Date: Oct. 16, 2012
2003 Western Conference Quarterfinals
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. Detroit Red Wings
Games 1 and 4

It was a good omen when the [then] Mighty Ducks of Anaheim knocked off the defending-champion Detroit Red Wings in four straight games. Via a breakthrough performance by J.S. Giguere, who stopped 165-of-171 shots in the series, Anaheim bookended its first round series with a pair of overtime wins, the latter of which was cemented by Steve Rucchin’s overtime goal 6:53 into the extra session. This series was a complete reversal of the two previous series between these teams, which were both won by the Red Wings in clean four-game sweeps in 1997 and 1999. "We're just all in shock," Detroit forward Darren McCarty said after the game.

Re-broadcast Date: Oct. 23, 2012
2003 Western Conference Semifinals
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. Dallas Stars
Games 2 and 6

After defeating Detroit twice in overtime, Anaheim opened up its second-round series against division rival Dallas with a pair of OT wins on the road. The second win, which was aided by a Rob Niedermayer goal with 1:19 to play in regulation, contained yet another superb performance in net by Giguere, who stopped 29-of-31 shots to earn first star honors. Mike LeClerc scored the overtime gamewinner, a fitting moment in an unsung postseason campaign for the winger, who recorded 11 points (2-9=11) in 21 playoff games for the Mighty Ducks in 2003. Leclerc was held scoreless in his five career playoff games in other seasons and would go on to play only 60 more NHL games after the 2003 postseason. In Game 6, Sandis Ozolinsh’s goal off a rebound with 1:06 remaining capped the four-games-to-two series win, which was attended by several members of the defending World Series champion Anaheim Angels.

Re-broadcast Date: Oct. 30, 2012
2003 Stanley Cup Final
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. New Jersey Devils
Games 3 and 4

The late Ruslan Salei spent nine years in an Anaheim uniform and was part of a group that helped transition the team from a moderately competitive entity of the Walt Disney Company to one of the most accomplished teams of the 2000’s. A defenseman who succeeded under head coach Mike Babcock and provided so much of the "glue" of the Mighty Ducks’ 2003 postseason run, his goal off an Adam Oates faceoff win 6:59 into overtime brought Anaheim right back into a series they had trailed 2-0 and gave the team its first-ever Stanley Cup Final victory. In Game 4, 39-year old Steve Thomas, who scored 10 goals in 12 regular season games after coming to Anaheim at the trading deadline, scored off a Sami Pahlsson rebound 398 seconds into overtime to break a scoreless tie between J.S. Giguere (26 saves) and Martin Brodeur (25 saves) while improving the Mighty Ducks to 7-0 in OT in the postseason. Giguere’s playoff overtime shutout streak (an NHL record) reached 168 minutes, 27 seconds after this game.

Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 6, 2012
2003 Stanley Cup Final
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. New Jersey Devils
Game 6

Though the Mighty Ducks did not win their seven-game series against the Devils, Game 6 served as an enduring triumph of perseverance and remains one of the most memorable games in franchise history. Blindsided by a severe Scott Stevens open ice hit that left him motionless on the ice for several minutes, Paul Kariya hardly missed two shifts, returning to the game four and a half minutes later and scoring off a rush to give Anaheim a 4-1 lead. Kariya, who had one assist through the first five games of the series, recorded three points in a 5-2 Game 6 win and provided for some of the most memorable (and most deafening moments) in Arrowhead Pond / Honda Center history. "That's where I like to put it in that situation and I took a good shot," Kariya said after the game.

2007 Western Conference Quarterfinals
Anaheim Ducks vs. Minnesota Wild
Game 5

A physical series between Anaheim and Minnesota nearly erupted prior to Game 5, when George Parros and Derek Boogaard had to be separated because of a skirmish in the neutral zone during pregame warmups. After that, there wasn’t a ton of fight left in the Wild, who fell to the Ducks, 4-1 in Anaheim’s first series-clinching victory en route to the 2007 Stanley Cup. J.S. Giguere returned to the team after a health scare involving his newborn son and started in place of Ilya Bryzgalov, who had been excellent earlier in the series. Chris Pronger, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Travis Moen – four players who were not part of the run to the Cup final four years prior – scored for Anaheim.

Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 13, 2012
2007 Western Conference Finals
Anaheim Ducks vs. Detroit Red Wings
Games 2 and 4

Anaheim emerged in a crucial 4-3 Game 2 victory after having lost the first game of the series at Joe Louis Arena. In a thrilling back-and-forth game, the Ducks won in spite of their special teams, which allowed two power play goals and a shorthanded marker. Five-on-five, however, Detroit struggled with Anaheim’s speed and skill, and on the Ducks’ 33rd shot of the night, Scott Niedermayer’s shot from the bottom of the right circle snuck above Dominik Hasek’s shoulder for the overtime victory. The play – assisted by brother Rob – was set up off a flurry of activity that began when Sami Pahlsson, who was excellent in the 2007 postseason, won an offensive zone faceoff. In Game 4, Anaheim beat Hasek and cracked the seemingly impenetrable Detroit defense – the Wings hadn’t allowed a goal in two consecutive road games – as Teemu Selanne recorded three points and the Ducks salvaged a 5-3 win after they were unable to hold a 3-1 second period lead. Anaheim would lose only once more over the remainder of the playoffs.

Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 20, 2012
2007 Western Conference Finals
Anaheim Ducks vs. Detroit Red Wings
Games 5 and 6

Anaheim engineered more late-game magic with a 2-1 overtime win in Detroit that placed the club only one game from their second trip to the Stanley Cup Final. A look at those who recorded points in this game allows for a glimpse of the top-end skill and experience the Ducks possessed: Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Teemu Selanne provided the offense as big-name players stepped up in a big game. Niedermayer scored on a shot that deflected past Dominic Hasek with 47.3 seconds to play before Teemu Selanne scored the game-winner off an uncharacteristic defensive zone breakdown by the Red Wings. Andy McDonald pressured Andreas Lilja during a forecheck, which led to a turnover that landed right on Selanne’s stick. His forehand-backhand work above a diving Dominik Hasek sent the water bottle flying and was among the many signature moments of the future Hall of Famer’s career. In Game 6, the Ducks improved to 7-0 all-time in series-clinching games at home with a 4-3 victory in which first star J.S. Giguere had to stand on his head to stem a Detroit outburst in the third period. Anaheim had raced out to a 3-0 lead with dominant hockey through the first two periods before Sami Pahlsson’s second goal of the playoffs – which came at 5:54 of the third period and gave the Ducks a 4-1 lead – served as a the game winner due to two Pavel Datsyuk goals that had brought the Red Wings within one.

Re-broadcast Date: Nov. 27, 2012
2007 Stanley Cup Final
Anaheim Ducks vs. Ottawa Senators
Games 1 and 2

To begin the only matchup between two 1990’s-era expansion teams in league history, Anaheim once again relied on late-game heroics and a boisterous Honda Center crowd in a 3-2, come-from-behind win over Ottawa as the club improved to 8-2 at home in the 2007 postseason. First star Ryan Getzlaf tied the game at two early in the third period before Travis Moen, unmarked in the slot, deftly banged in a bouncing puck off a pass from Rob Niedermayer with 2:51 remaining. In Game 2, Sami Pahlsson continued his standout postseason performance by scoring the game’s only goal off a broken play in the neutral zone in which he corralled a loose puck, drove into the offensive zone, cut from the right circle towards the slot and used Joe Corvo as a screen in beating Ray Emery. J.S. Giguere, who made 16 saves, was named the game’s third star with his only shutout of the 2007 playoffs.

Re-broadcast Date: Dec. 4, 2012
2007 Stanley Cup Final
Anaheim Ducks vs. Ottawa Senators
Games 4 and 5

With Chris Pronger serving a one-game suspension and the team holding a two-games-to-one series lead, the Ducks lessened the drama of the Cup Final with a 3-2 victory in Ottawa that placed the club one win away from their first Stanley Cup. Dustin Penner snapped a cross-slot feed from Teemu Selanne past a vulnerable Ray Emery shortly after an awkward line change early in the third period to quiet a rocking Scotiabank Place crowd. After having dropped Game 3 to the Senators, Anaheim weathered the storm during a dreadful first period in which they were outshot, 13-2 yet allowed only one goal – with under one second remaining. Andy McDonald, named the game’s first star, scored twice in a one-minute span in the second period to disrupt Ottawa’s momentum. The game marked the Ducks’ 12th one-goal win of the 2007 playoffs and third straight one-goal win over Ottawa.

Leading three games to one and heading back to Honda Center for Game 6, Anaheim wasted no time in asserting themselves against suddenly insecure Ottawa by scoring 3:41 into the game on Andy McDonald’s 10th postseason goal. Though the Senators scored two second period goals to pull within one each time, this one eventually turned into a rout as the Ducks scored twice in every period and brought the Stanley Cup west of the Rocky Mountains for the first time since the Victoria Cougars’ 1925 Cup title. Though he stopped 11 of Ottawa’s paltry 13 shots on goal, J.S. Giguere was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, a fitting designation considering his postseason acumen throughout the 2000’s as Anaheim’s backbone. Few teams of the salary cap era boasted such a collection of All-Star and future Hall of Fame talent, as Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Teemu Selanne, with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf providing an excellent mix of weathered experience and youthful dynamism. Selanne’s first Stanley Cup came in his 14th NHL season, while Rob Niedermayer, Brad May, Todd Marchant, Sean O’Donnell and Pronger also celebrated their first Cups.

"I obviously didn’t do that one my own," Giguere said  when visiting the Honda Center as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. "A bunch of guys contributed to that. These are the things that I’m most proud of of what we did as a team, as a group. Nobody can take that away from us, obviously winning the Cup."


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