Tuesday, June 5, 2007
No Pronger, No Problem
The short-handed Anaheim Ducks were looking to get a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final yesterday.
But it didn't start out to well for them, as Chris Neil drew 2 penalties in the 1st 4 minutes of the game. But the Ducks killed them of. It looked like it would be tied going into the 2nd, but Daniel Alfredsson scored with 1 second left in the 1st to give the Sens the lead. Anaheim didn't give up though as they came out firing. Andy McDonald got 2 goals in 1 minute to give the Ducks the lead. But Ottawa's big guns came back as Heatley ended a scoring slump to tie up the game at 2. Early in the 3rd, Dustin Penner scored to give the lead back to Anaheim. Ottawa tried to tie it up, but ran into Giguere every time. The Ducks ended winning 3-2.
Ottawa blew a lead in the 2nd after McDonald scored 2 goals in 2 minute, and that 1 minute was the key to the game. They also let Anaheim get to them without Pronger in the lineup. "Again, it just proves the point that our players have found a way to reach back and give more when it's asked of them," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.
The Senators, even though they lost still played a pretty good game. Dany Heatley scored to get out of a scoring slump, and Alfredsson kept his hot streak going. It was only a 2-1 rush and a bad minute that did them in. But obviously, it is the NHL, and something is wrong if you lose. "They made a little adjustment in the second period and we started forcing the play," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "But other than that, there was no reason to play the way we did in the second period. We started breaking down. They got 2-on-1 chances. Guys that don't normally make these plays, they tried to make tonight and they got caught and it burned us."
When the 2nd period was ending, Daniel Alfredsson decided to shoot the puck... at Neidermayer. "I looked up at the clock and saw five or six seconds left, so I wanted to shoot the puck at the net," Alfredsson said. "I braced my stick and the puck kind of stopped sliding. Then it got caught up in my feet, so I just wanted to get rid of it. I didn't mean to hit him." It was the spark the Ducks needed to really get going. "You can probably figure out what I thought about how I acted after it happened but it doesn't do us any good to talk about it, really," Niedermayer said. "I wasn't happy, yeah, there's no need to get hit with the puck at that point. I'm not going to say any more than that."
A player that I think is being overshadowed by players like Selanne and Alfredsson for the Conn Smythe Trophy is J.S Giguere. He let in only 1 goal in a 1st period that saw the Ducks get out shot 13-2 and he saved the Ducks in the final minute of the game. Already, no matter what happens, Giguere should be the Conn Smythe Award winner.
Ottawa now has the go back to Anaheim for game 5. It will be tough to win with a well rested Pronger. But if Ottawa wins game 5, than I guarantee they will win game 6.