It's miracles unlimited for Ducks

Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003

ANAHEIM, Calif. Sandis Ozolinsh scored with 1:06 remaining, lifting the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to a 4-3 victory Monday night over the Dallas Stars and into their first conference finals.

The victory gave the Ducks an improbable 4-2 series win over top-seeded Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals after Anaheim swept defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit in the opening round.

Anaheim will face the Vancouver-Minnesota winner in the conference final. The Canucks lead that series 3-2.

Ozolinsh's goal, on a rebound of Mike Leclerc's shot from the right circle, came just 4:05 after Dallas' Brenden Morrow tied it.

The Stars earlier had an apparent tying goal disallowed with 7:58 left. Stu Barnes carried the puck from behind the net and knocked it between the pads of goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. But after reviewing the play, officials ruled the net had been dislodged just before the shot.

Steve Thomas, acquired from Chicago at the March 11 trading deadline, had a goal and two assists for Anaheim.

Niko Kapanen had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who were trying to become the third team this spring to come back to win as series after falling behind 3-1.

Ruslan Salei had given the Ducks a 3-2 edge early in the third period with his first goal of the playoffs.

Giguere, who had been sensational in his first postseason but was benched after two periods of the Stars' 4-1 victory in Game 5 on Saturday, had 26 saves as the Ducks' wrapped up the series.

Dallas goalie Mary Turco gave up the four Anaheim goals while facing 26 shots.

Emulating the Anaheim Angels' run to their first World Series title last fall, the Ducks are on a scintillating postseason roll of their own. Walt Disney Co. owns both the Ducks and Angels, although the company has reached an agreement in principle to sell the baseball team to Arizona businessman Arturo Moreno, and also has the hockey team up for sale.

The Ducks are in the postseason for only the third time since entering the league as an expansion franchise in 1993. They were swept by Detroit in the second round in 1997, then the Red Wings swept them again in the first round in 1999.

Dallas tied the game 3-3 when Sergei Zubov's 55-foot wrist shot down the middle deflected off the skate of Morrow, who was near the side of the crease. That goal also was reviewed.

Senators 5, Flyers 1

PHILADELPHIA Ottawa scored twice in the first period and twice in the second to overwhelm the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1 Monday night. The Senators advanced to the NHL's final four for the first time in their 11-year history.

Peter Schaefer got the Senators going less than three minutes in, and Mike Fisher also scored in the first period. Daniel Alfredsson and Bryan Smolinski added second-period goals to make it a rout. Wade Redden had two assists, and Patrick Lalime was sturdy in making 18 saves.

The Senators filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this season and were delayed in paying players at New Year's. They shrugged all that off this season, in which they earned the most points in the NHL (113). And they dispatched the Flyers from the playoffs for the second straight year, this time in six games.

Ottawa, which needed only five games to beat the New York Islanders in the first round, will face New Jersey for the right to go to the Stanley Cup finals.

Wild 7, Canucks 2

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Cliff Ronning scored his first two goals of the playoffs and Marian Gaborik added his league-best ninth as the Minnesota Wild avoided elimination with a win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Richard Park, Jason Marshall, Andrew Brunette and Wes Walz also scored for the Wild, who set a franchise record for goals in a game.

Minnesota still trails 3-2 in the series heading home for Game 6 Wednesday night. Game 7, if necessary, would be back in Vancouver on Thursday.

Brendan Morrison and Henrik Sedin scored for the Canucks, who lost for just the second time in eight games.



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