Game 5 - Ducks 6, Ottawa 2
By Adam Brady
The Ducks won the first title in their 14-year history.
The Anaheim Ducks are the 2007 Stanley Cup champions.
The Ducks played exactly like a team on the brink of a championship, completely outperforming the Ottawa Senators on their way to a 6-2 victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in front of 17,372 euphoric fans at Honda Center.
Many of those screamers had been with the team since its start as the Mighty Ducks back in 1993. But this team has never looked mightier than they do now, earning a 4-games-to-1 triumph over the Senators and becoming the first team from California to win the Stanley Cup.
"Obviously, we have to wait a long time for something unbelievable," said Teemu Selanne. "And it really makes it even more special. And I can't imagine to be getting the win in our own home building. I'm so proud of my teammates. We've been like brothers. And we have had one dream together, and that's why it's so special."
With the Ducks comfortably ahead 6-2 in the third, the crowd chanted along as the seconds ticked down to zero. When they finally hit that magic number, Ryan Getzlaf looked like a little boy on Christmas morning as he shook his hands in the air to flip off his gloves and wrapped himself around Giguere. The rest of the Ducks soon joined them as every member converged near the boards in jubilation.
Moments later confetti was falling from the rafters and captain Scott Niedermayer was holding the silver chalice above his head. Niedermayer passed it first to brother Rob, the guy he came here to play with before last season.
Niedermayer won his fourth Cup and his first Conn Smythe Trophy.
Soon every Duck was taking his turn skating around the Honda Center rink with the Cup over their heads, showing it off to the adoring throng in the seats.
Before holding the Cup, Scott Niedermayer grabbed another trophy, the Conn Smythe as the MVP of these playoffs, the first time he has won it. He is no longer the only Ducks player to have ever won a Stanley Cup. He won three with
"This one," Niedermayer said after things had calmed down, "is pretty special."
Niedermayer led a defense that carried
"When I came here, I didn't know a lot about a lot of the players that were here. We just kept having fun, kept wanting to work hard for each other."
"I've been waiting for this for such a long time. There were times I didn't believe this was ever going to happen. To win it in front of our fans, I can't think of a better way."
"This is the best feeling I've had in my career. It's probably the best feeling I'll ever have in my career. I couldn't have written anything up like this."
"I'm really exhausted right now, but we're going to enjoy it and look forward to a good summer."
"There was a lot of adversity we faced throughout the course of the season, and all that has made us stronger and made us a better team. To finish this in front of our fans is awesome."
With 2:29 left in the period, Rob Niedermayer guarded the puck down the right wing and got off a backhander that slipped under Emery's right arm and bounced over the line.
That was one of just five shots in the period for the Ducks, though their conversion percentage was impressive on their way to a 2-0 lead. Meanwhile,
Alfredsson incensed the crowd even more when he cut the Ducks lead in half, taking a Peter Schaefer pass in the slot and wristing it at the net. It deflected off a sliding Corey Perry and got past Giguere.
But that unfortunate bounce was nothing compared to the one
But as much as
That made it just 3-2
At 4:01 into the third, Moen got a more deserving goal that essentially put the game away and brought the Cup to
A the 12:37 mark, Ottawa's Antoine Vermette had a chance to spark a desperation run when he was awarded a penalty shot after Todd Marchant hooked him from behind on a breakaway. But when he tried to go backhand on his way to the net, he whiffed on the puck.
That kept the Ducks' 5-2 lead intact, and the final 14:59 became an
Selanne won the first Cup of his 15-year career.
Fellow veterans like Giguere, Chris Pronger, Todd Marchant, Sean O'Donnell and Brad May also touched it for the first time. Then there are the guys like Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Andy McDonald, members of that '03 team that came so close, only to watch another team hold the trophy aloft. There are the youngsters - Chris Kunitz, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Dustin Penner, who hope this Cup is the first of many. And there are the less-heralded like Beauchemin and Moen, who don't make many headlines, but play as much a part of this title run as anybody.
Each had distinct roles on this fantastically cohesive Ducks team, but each of them now have one thing in common.
They are champions.
"Deep down in your heart you know you are a champion and you can win it someday," Marchant said. "Sure enough, it came true."
By securing their first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history, the Anaheim Ducks also become the first team from
Rob and Scott Niedermayer are the first set of brothers to win the Stanley Cup together since Brent and Duane Sutter won with the 1983 New York Islanders (they also won Cup with Islanders in 1982).
The Ducks are undefeated at home (7-0) in Stanley Cup Final contests and 8-0 at home in series-clinching games (4-0 in 2007, 3-0 in 2003 and 1-0 in 1997).
The Ducks are the first team since the 1989 Calgary Flames to have one player or fewer to have previously won the Stanley Cup. Scott Niedermayer was the only Ducks player who has previously won the Cup with the 1995, 2000 and 2003 New Jersey Devils. The 1989 Flames entered the Stanley Cup Final without a single player who had previously won a Cup.
The Ducks had five rookie players on their roster who competed in at least three 2007 playoff games. The last Stanley Cup championship team to have more than five rookies compete in at least three playoff games during a postseason run were the 1986 Montreal Candiens, who had eight. Below is a list of the rookies on the Ducks Stanley Cup winning roster that competed in at least three playoff games in 2007:
20:00 - END OF GAME - The crowd counts down as the seconds tick down to zero. When the horn finally sounds, the crowd gets as loud as it's ever been. Ryan Getzlaf shakes off his gloves and wraps his arms around Giguere. Soon the rest of the team joins them. THE ANAHEIM DUCKS ARE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS.
18:22 - Giguere makes a save on an Ottawa attempt, just the 13th shot of the game.
17:00 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Alfredsson makes a bad pass trying to clear the puck and Perry jumps on it in the slot. His one-timer zings past Emery and it's 6-2 Ducks.
15:01 - Folks, we're less than five minutes away from the Cup.
12:27 - OTT PENALTY - Anton Volchenkov, 2 min. slashing.
10:01 - We're less than 10 minutes away.
9:45 - Corey Perry nearly puts a loose one in right in front of Emery.
NBC shows Brian Burke giving a double thumbs up from his booth in the press box.
12:37 - The penalty shot is saved by Giguere as Vermette never really had a hold of it when he tried to make a move to the backhand. The crowd is absolutely lit up.
12:37 - Antoine Vermette gets the puck ahead of everybody and he's hooked from behind by Todd Marchant on the breakaway. A penalty shot is awarded.
5:48 - OTT PENALTY - Christoph Schubert, 2 min. slashing. Things are getting worse for Ottawa.
A chant of "We want the Cup" rises from the crowd, as NBC shows Stanley arriving through Honda Center security.
4:01 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TRAVIS MOEN - Scott Niedermayer takes a one-timer from the right circle that Moen, standing in the slot, redirects past Emery. Give a well-deserved second assist to Pahlsson, who got the puck off the right wing boards to Niedermayer. Absolutely unbelievable as the Ducks take a 5-2 lead with 15:59 left.
3:40 - Selanne pokes away the puck in the Ottawa zone and nearly pounces on it in front of the net before Emery pokes it away.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ottawa plays much better than the first and gets two goals. But the Ducks stay strong with a couple of their own, one by Beauchemin and the other a lucky one given to Moen. It's 4-2 as the Ducks are 20 minutes away from the Cup.
18:28 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN - With the Ducks still on the power play, Andy McDonald slides it backward to Beauchemin, who is just cross the blueline. He rips a one-timer that knicks off Sens defenseman Anton Volchenkov and gets past Emery. Huge bounce back for Anaheim and it's 4-2.
17:38 - OTTAWA GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - DANIEL ALFREDSSON - With Anaheim on the power play, Ryan Getzlaf turns the puck over to Alfredsson in the neutral zone. He skates down the right wing ahead of a poorly pursuing Getlaf, crashes the net and flips it over Giguere. It's 3-2 Anaheim.
16:46 - OTT PENALTY - Christoph Schubert, 2 min. elbowing. A chance for the Ducks to build the lead.
During the timeout, this quote is flashed on the video board: "When this building is full, it's as loud and as rocking as any place in the league." The source? NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The crowd likes that.
15:44 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TRAVIS MOEN - Moen gets credit for it, but unofficially the goal is scored by Emery. As Chris Phillips skates with the puck away from the boards behind the goal, it hits the back of Emery's skate and he accidentally kicks it backward into the net. Unbelievably lucky break for the Ducks, but they'll take it. Moen gets credit because he's the last Duck to touch the puck.
14:25 - Another Ottawa shot is deflected in front and Giguere kicks it away.
11:27 - OTTAWA GOAL - DANIEL ALFREDSSON - Redemption for Alfie as he takes a Peter Schaefer pass into the slot and wrists it at the net. It deflects off a sliding Corey Perry and gets past Giguere. It's 2-1 Anaheim.
11:09 - The hated Alfredsson takes a shot that Giguere kick-saves.
Ottawa is keeping the puck in the Anaheim zone, but they still have only one shot in the period halfway through.
5:40 - Pahlsson takes the second straight hard shot at Emery, both of which he saved. The latest one was a one-timer from the slot. After the save he bumps Chris Neil for good measure.
5:09 - Penner takes away the puck in the corner of the Ottawa zone and holds, holds, holds, before snapping off a wrister that Emery saves.
2:55 - Todd Marchant might have saved a goal a la Beauchemin in the first.
0:58 - Pahlsson takes a hard shot from the left circle that Emery saves, but he wasn't sure of it at first.
0:00 - And we're back.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks clear the zone on the penalty kill as the seconds tick down to the end of the first. Tremendous period for Anaheim. They outshoot the Sens 5-3, but two of them get through for Andy McDonald and Rob Niedermayer. We'll be back in 19 minutes.
18:10 - ANA PENALTY - Teemu Selanne, 2 min. holding.
17:41 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - Corey Perry, fresh out of the box, feed Niedermayer, who protects the puck on his way to the right circle. He then gets off a backhander that slips under Emery's right arm and bounces over the line. It's Niedermayer's fifth of the postseason, the same number he had in 82 regular season games. Most importantly, it's 2-0 Ducks.
Daniel Alfredsson is getting booed every time he touches the puck after he took that shot at Scott Niedermayer in Game 4.
15:31 - ANA PENALTY - Corey Perry, 2 min. roughing. Perry gets in the face of Wade Redden, as the animosity between Perry and the Sens lives on.
14:30 - Pronger is back on.
Chris Pronger left the game around the midway point of the period and hasn't returned. We'll update you.
13:50 - Getzlaf appears to have a wide-open shot from deep in the right circle, but instead elects to make a drag move to the slot and doesn't get off a good shot.
10:14 - ANA PENALTY - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. elbowing. First penalty of Game 5 for the Ducks.
9:40 - More evidence that Scott Niedermayer does everything for this team. J.S. Giguere loses his stick and it's kicked into the corner. Several precarious seconds go by until the puck is cleared to the Ottawa blueline, and Niedermayer guides the stick back to Giguere with his skates. No damage done.
8:46 - Huge play by Francois Beauchemin to flash in front of the net and block a Jason Spezza shot with his stick that would have surely gone in.
8:11 - We hit the first timeout with the Ducks in control. Another sign that we're home: bare midriffs cleaning up the ice.
5:39 - OTT PENALTY - Jason Spezza, 2 min. holding the stick. Spezza takes the stick out of Sammy Pahlsson's hands in the corner and Pahlsson responds by dribbling the puck along the boards behind the net like a soccer player. He finally loses it to Ottawa and the whistle blows
3:41 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ANDY MCDONALD - After a feed from Getzlaf at the blueline, McDonald takes a seemingly innocent shot from the right circle that slips through Emery and lights up this crowd. It's 1-0 Ducks early.
3:25 - OTT PENALTY - Anton Volchenkov, 2 min. hooking. Ducks get a 5 on 3.
1:40 - OTT PENALTY - Tom Preising, 2 min. interference. First power play for the Ducks.
0:00 - Finally, we're underway in Game 5.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Like they did in Ottawa, Staff Sergeant Juan Contreras lets the crowd sing the second verse of the National Anthem. Not as good as in Canada, but not bad
Starting Goaltenders: ANA J.S. Giguere; OTT Ray Emery
Scratches: ANA Sebastien Caron, Ric Jackman, Mark Hartigan, George Parros, Andrew Miller, Aaron Rome, Ryan Shannon, Joe Motzko, Ryan Carter; OTT Lawrence Nycholat, Brian McGrattan, Dean McAmmond
Yes, that's right. Kuni is in the lineup.
5 p.m. at Honda Center
TV: NBC Radio: AM 830
If the Ducks defeat Ottawa tonight in Game 5 at Honda Center, Anaheim wins the Stanley Cup.
Let's say that again.
If the Ducks defeat Ottawa tonight in Game 5 at Honda Center, Anaheim wins the Stanley Cup.
The Ducks are one win away from hockey immortality.
"We've discussed that last night and discussed it today," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We'll discuss it again. We have to let all the other outside distractions, and you are one of them, being the media, that's all part of it. And that's part of the maturing process that takes place.
"We have to focus on the one task at hand and that's playing the best hockey game we can possibly play."
Every Anaheim win in this series has been by one goal, including the Ducks' Game 4 victory in which they were clearly outplayed in the first period and came back to win 3-2 at Scotiabank Place.
"We know that we're going to have to play a hockey team that's going to be very desperate," Carlyle said. "We'll have to play the best game we possibly have played this year in the next one. We know that. They've got a lot of pride over there. They've got a good hockey club. They've got some outstanding individuals. And we have to match their intensity. We have to match their skill. We have to match their will."
The Ducks will have the services of Chris Pronger tonight, after Pronger missed Anaheim's Game 4 victory while serving a one-game suspension.
|Ducks defenseman Sean O'Donnell on Game 5|
Ottawa Goalie Ray Emery, who has been a bright spot in the series for the Sens, insists the team is still "confident" despite their position in this series.
"We won three games in a row against great teams this year tons of times," Emery said. "So, certainly we can win two games in a row, no problem. Once you do that, it's just whoever wins Game 7. We have to look at it one game at a time and something we're definitely capable of.
"We realize if we play our game, which we have in spurts, you know we dominate on the ice there. So we just gotta do the things that have been working during those stretches where we're the dominant team, and we'll be fine."
But the Senators will have to face Anaheim tonight in what promises to be a rocking Honda Center, where the Ducks are 9-2 at home. They are also 7-0 in their history when playing a series-clinching game at home. That of course goes back to 1997, a much different era for this Ducks franchise on the cusp of its first-ever Cup. And more than 17,000 fans will be in the building tonight hoping to be a part of it.
"We're an organization that has worked extremely hard at trying to become an elite hockey club and organization," Carlyle said. "There's a huge group of people that have put forth a lot of hours and a lot of blood and sweat that went into it. And the players are at the forefront of that. But there're a lot of people behind the scenes, and the players are in the line; then there's the scouts and the management and the marketing people that are putting the people in the seats.
"There's this list of people that have worked extremely hard to try and put this organization at the forefront in our market. And we think that, obviously, winning has a marketing success that usually goes with it. But as far as discussing it or whatnot, we're not into discussing any of those things. We've got a hockey game to play."