Mighty Ducks 2, Red Wings 1, 3 OT

DETROIT (AP)—Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn’t worry about the 10 Stanley Cup banners over his head, or the collection of likely Hall of Famers he faced on the ice. With the poise of a veteran goaltender, Giguere was spectacular in his playoff debut.

Giguere made 63 saves, an NHL best for a first postseason game, and Paul Kariya scored 3:18 into the third overtime, giving the Anaheim Mighty Ducks a 2-1 victory Thursday night over the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

“It’s about me and all the guys in this room,” Giguere said. “It’s not about them.”

Giguere, 25, set the saves record thanks in part to making 20 stops in the first overtime, another record. No goalie had faced 20 shots in an extra period since the NHL expanded during the 1967-68 season.

“I was nervous before the game, but I used that nervousness to get me going,” Giguere said. “I turned those emotions into a positive thing.

“It was a lot of fun. It was a great experience for me, and a lot of the guys in this room.”

Giguere kept the Red Wings frustrated until Kariya picked up a rebound in the slot and fired home a wrist shot.

“The game belongs to ‘Giggy,’ he was incredible,” Kariya said. “They really outplayed us a lot of the game, and he kept us in and let us win the game.”

Game 2 in the best-of-seven first-round series is Saturday afternoon in Detroit.

“I don’t think we’ll panic,” Detroit coach Dave Lewis said.

Toronto’s Jiri Crha held the record for most saves in a playoff debut with 61 on April 8, 1980.

“Well, I don’t think you could have a better debut, that’s for sure,” Lewis said. “He won a playoff game playing in this building, which is huge for them, and he was probably the biggest reason why.”

Detroit’s Brendan Shanahan and Anaheim’s Adam Oates scored in the first period, then the teams went 44:27 without a goal to force overtime.

The Red Wings have a chance to be regarded as a dynasty. If they repeat, they would have four Stanley Cups in seven years and would be the NHL’s most successful team since Edmonton won five titles over seven seasons from 1984-90.

Detroit is making its 13th straight playoff appearance and 52nd overall in 77 years. The Mighty Ducks, who began play in 1993, are in the postseason for the third time.

The other times Anaheim was in the playoffs, it was swept by Detroit: in the first round in 1999, the second round in 1997. But the Mighty Ducks pushed Detroit to six overtime periods in ’97—and the only team that could sweep this year’s series is Anaheim.

“Bottom line is they put the one in that had to go in,” Detroit’s Darren McCarty said. “That’s the way playoffs work.”

Detroit lost the first two games of the playoffs last season at home to Vancouver before winning the next four, and later its 10th Stanley Cup.

Detroit’s Curtis Joseph made 42 saves Thursday. His playoff record is 58-59.

“It was a lengthy game with lots of chances,” Joseph said.

Giguere’s glove save on McCarty’s slap shot with just under seven minutes left in regulation kept it tied, as did Joseph’s kick save on Kariya’s shot with a minute to go.

Giguere made eight saves in the first six minutes of overtime before Detroit—and the sellout crowd at Joe Louis Arena—thought the Wings had won at 9:21. But Luc Robitaille’s shot ricocheted off the crossbar and the post, a video replay concluded, even though the goal light went on.

“On the Robitaille shot, I wasn’t sure until I looked at the post and saw the puck mark,” Giguere said. “Sometimes, you just get lucky.”

Shanahan scored a power-play goal at 4:15 of the first period. His one-timer from the lower left circle came on a cross-crease pass from Tomas Holmstrom, who received a pass from Igor Larionov along the right boards.

Oates tied the game at 15:33 of the first period.

Kurt Sauer’s shot from above the right circle was redirected by Mike Leclercin front, leaving Oates an open net.

Notes

During the national anthem, an octopus was thrown on the ice—a playoff tradition in Detroit. … Lewis and Anaheim’s Mike Babcock are rookie head coaches. … Fredrik Olausson played 21 playoff games for Detroit last year, but he was a healthy scratch for the Mighty Ducks. … Larionov, at 41 years, 4 months, is the oldest player in the NHL. Larionov had 10 goals and 33 assists this season. … The Mighty Ducks set franchise records this season with 40 wins and 95 points and posted the biggest point improvement in the NHL— 26 more than last year.

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Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Curtis Joseph Tor 44 42