2003 NHL Playoffs 2003 NHL Playoffs

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New Jersey 3, Anaheim 0
Posted: Friday May 30, 2003 12:43 AM
Anaheim Mighty Ducks
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New Jersey Devils
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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Now Martin Brodeur has done something Patrick Roy did not.

Brodeur recorded his second straight shutout and Oleg Tverdovsky set up a pair of goals against his former team, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 blanking of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and a two games to none lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Brodeur is the active goaltender with the best chance to break Roy's records for regular season and playoff wins. A day after Roy announced his retirement, Brodeur became the first goalie in 58 years to open the Stanley Cup Finals with back-to-back shutouts.

Like Tuesday's series opener, Brodeur did not have much work to do until the third period. He made 16 saves, just nine over the first 40 minutes, to run his latest shutout streak to 138 minutes, 7 seconds.

"If you were to ask me before the series, would you have had two shutouts, I would have said, 'Yeah, right,'" Devils coach Pat Burns said. "You're surprised. Marty's been great. We deserve it."

Ducks defenseman Ruslan Salei was unconvinced.

"If you want to find out how good (Brodeur) is, you've got to test him," he said. "We didn't really do a good job to do that. I don't think he was a factor because we haven't had many chances against him."

It was Brodeur's sixth shutout of this year's playoffs, tying Dominik Hasek's 2002 record, and the 19th of his career, four shy of Roy's mark.

The last goalie to start the Stanley Cup Finals with three shutouts was Toronto's Frank McCool in 1945. Ironically, Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere opened the Western Conference finals with three shutouts to match McCool's playoff record.

"We're winning, that's what's important," said Brodeur, who has given up 10 goals while going 10-1 at home in the postseason. "Definitely, when I look back and see these things when I'm retired, it will be really nice. Right now, I can't get caught up in that."

It's been a different story for Giguere in this series. After giving up former Duck Jeff Friesen's fourth goal in three games, Giguere slammed his stick and broke it in half.

"I'm frustrated with myself," he admitted. "I've got to work better, allow myself to compete harder. And there is no excuse right now. We've got to lay it all on the line."

Tverdovsky, another ex-Duck, picked up assists on the first two goals of the night as Patrik Elias scored on the power play at 4:42 of the second period and Scott Gomez ended a nine-game drought 7 1/2 minutes later.

Held to 16 shots in Game One, Anaheim had seven in another scoreless first period. But a questionable holding penalty on former Devil Petr Sykora at 3:19 of the second gave New Jersey a 56-second power play.

"I'm not here to evaluate or officiate," Ducks coach Mike Babcock said.

The Devils cashed in as Tverdovsky's shot from the right point was deflected in front and came to Elias, who flicked it in from the right side of the net for his third playoff goal.

"I got a puck to Oleg and he got a shot through," Elias said. "A great job by (Grant) Marshall and a lucky bounce popped right on my stick, and I had a pretty easy put-in."

New Jersey held the Ducks without a shot for the first 10 1/2 minutes of the second period and doubled its lead with 7:49 left. Tverdovsky blasted another shot from the blue line that hit Gomez on the left knee and caromed past a helpless Giguere.

"The way Marshy was jumping around, I thought he got it," Gomez said. "I guess it hit off my leg. It doesn't even matter. Whoever scores, we'll take it."

It was Gomez's second playoff goal and first since Game Four of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Tampa Bay.

"Yeah, we're expected to create offense," he admitted. "Marshy's been playing great. Patty, I don't know how many posts he's hit. We're all picking up our games."

Friesen finished off the win 4:22 into the third period. After shaking off defenseman Keith Carney in the left corner, he moved to the faceoff circle and slid a backhander under Giguere's right pad for his eighth postseason tally and sixth in eight games.

"Jeff, you can see fire in his eyes," Tverdovsky said. "You can see this drive in him, he's almost relentless out there. He works so hard. I'm glad things are going his way."

Friesen also helped out defensively, making a diving pokecheck to knock the puck away from Rob Niedermayer in the opening minute of the second period.

The series shifts to Anaheim for Games Three and Four on Saturday and Monday.

The Ducks are hoping a change in scene translates to results on the ice.

"We just need to come out and play playoff hockey. We haven't done it yet," Carney said. "We just aren't winning battles. We're not playing our game. It's definitely frustrating."