Devils one win from Stanley Cup shot

Sunday, May 18, 2003

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Everyone saw Jay Pandolfo's shot go in the net this time, and Jeff Friesen's winner, too.

Now the New Jersey Devils are one win away from another trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

Pandolfo scored the tying goal late in the second period and Friesen put New Jersey ahead early in the third, as the Devils remained perfect at home in the playoffs with a 5-2 victory Saturday over the Ottawa Senators.

"I'm glad they didn't take that one back," said Pandolfo, who lost a goal that wasn't detected two days earlier.

Patrik Elias and John Madden added goals within the first 7:35 of the final period. New Jersey leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals 3-1 and can earn its third trip to the Stanley Cup finals in four years with a win Monday at Ottawa.

"This is a game we didn't dominate, but we found a way to win," Friesen said. "We got timely goals, and obviously Jay Pandolfo's goal was the biggest goal of the season."

The West champion Anaheim Mighty Ducks await the series winner.

"They're the best team in the NHL," forward Scott Gomez said of Ottawa. "To think about Anaheim would be crazy, absolutely crazy."

Scott Niedermayer, a two-time champion, is one New Jersey player who can't help have his thoughts wander a bit. His brother Rob is an Anaheim forward, and the pair would become the first opposing brothers in the Stanley Cup finals since 1946.

"Of course you think about it," he said. "But I don't think about it too much. We still have more work to do."

Niedermayer didn't talk to his brother since Anaheim completed a sweep of Minnesota on Friday. He planned to call him later Saturday.

Mighty Ducks take break before Stanley Cup finals

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks gave themselves plenty of time to savor their first berth in the Stanley Cup finals.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and the upstart Mighty Ducks begin what could be a lengthy break after finishing their second sweep of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Friday night.

Anaheim must await the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators.

It could be a while. If that series goes seven games, it won't end until Friday.

The Ducks don't mind having some time to relax and get ready for the Cup finals.

"Rest is a weapon and I think we can use it," said Giguere, who continued his sensational postseason run by allowing only one goal in the sweep of the Wild.

"Physically, I feel pretty good. We've got a lot of rest in between the series. Even before the first series, we got five or six days rest."

The seventh-seeded Ducks swept defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit in the first round, then eliminated top-seeded Dallas 4-2 in the second round.

The Ducks and their stingy goalie, who's playing in his first postseason, are 12-2.

Rookie coach Mike Babcock doesn't intend for this week to be a vacation for the Ducks.

"We will get prepared," he said emphatically.

"We will have a pretty good report on the team we'll play. We will work out guys and get healthy and be, obviously, ready to go."

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