ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- A young Mighty Ducks goaltender is at it
again in the playoffs -- and his name isn't Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Ilya Bryzgalov posted his second consecutive shutout Friday
night when Anaheim opened the Western Conference semifinals with a
5-0 rout of Colorado. Teemu Selanne helped provide the offensive
punch, with a goal and two assists against his former Avalanche
Bryzgalov, who started again over 2003 playoffs MVP Giguere, is
the first rookie to post back-to-back postseason shutouts since
Toronto's Frank McCool had three straight in 1945.
"I'm not really surprised. The team played very well and helped
me stop the puck," said Bryzgalov, a 25-year-old Russian who was
coming off a 3-0 victory over Calgary in Game 7 of the first-round
The Ducks scored four times in the second period, including
goals by Selanne and Joffrey Lupul in the final minute to break the
game open. Bryzgalov made 29 saves after stopping all 22 he faced
in his clinching win at Calgary.
He only allowed three goals on 93 shots in four games against
Bryzgalov got lots of help in this series opener from the Ducks'
defense, which prevented the Avalanche from getting off few quality
"The defensemen make my job easier. Our team is playing very
well and I am feeling very well, too," he said. "Our team had a
great performance and they didn't give a lot of scoring chances.
The guys played great."
Defenseman Scott Niedermayer said, "He's playing well right
now. He's doing his job, obviously, and making the saves he needs
to make and it's great. It's fortunate we have the two goalies we
Colorado's Jose Theodore allowed all five Anaheim goals on 34
While the Ducks had only one day off between wrapping up their
first-round series and beginning the matchup against Colorado, they
dominated the Avalanche, who eliminated Dallas on Sunday.
"The Game 7 in Calgary, we played really well and this was a
carry-over of that," Selanne said. "Sometimes you don't have so
much time to think about the next series, and we just jumped into
this series right away."
Coach Randy Carlyle liked the Ducks' energy level.
"We were able to turn the page on what happened in the last
series and refocus and re-energize ourselves," he said.
The Avalanche simply looked flat.
"Physically they were stronger and they wanted the puck more
than we did," Colorado defenseman Rob Blake said. "They dominated
pretty much all facets of the game. We've got to compete more."
Said coach Joel Quenneville: "We didn't have anything going for
us. They beat us to every loose puck."
The start was the third of the postseason for Bryzgalov, who
played in a 2-1 overtime defeat in the opening game against Calgary
while Giguere was sidelined by a lower body injury. Giguere
returned and wasn't particularly effective, so Bryzgalov started
again in the crucial Game 6, a 2-1 victory. Then he won Game 7.
Giguere was sensational for the Ducks in 2003 when they made it
to the Stanley Cup finals and lost Game 7 to New Jersey.
Selanne sped down on a breakaway and beat Theodore with a
backhander on the glove side with 55 seconds left in the second
period for his fifth of this postseason.
Fifty seconds later, he picked up his own rebound near the left
post and slid the puck across the crease, where Lupul tapped it in
for his second goal of the playoffs.
Kunitz, skating through the right circle, picked up a rebound of
a shot by Francois Beauchemin that bounced some 10 feet in front of
the goal. Kunitz took a shot that got past Theodore but hit the
right post. The Ducks left winger then controlled the puck again
and slipped it into the net as he skated past the post.
The goal was his second of the playoffs.
Pahlsson, also netting his second of this postseason, scored on
a slap shot from the left circle at 2:38 of the period. Colorado
was down a man on the play because left wing Andrew Brunette was
lying on his face back up ice. Beauchemin had flattened him with a
Brunette lay there for a couple of minutes before getting up and
slowly skating off. He had a jaw injury and didn't return. He is
tied for the team lead with three playoff goals.
Theodore had a busy first period, facing 14 shots -- 13 in the
last 15 minutes -- while his Colorado teammates got off only four at
Bryzgalov. The Ducks finally scored on their first shot of the
Selanne's goal was his 22nd in the playoffs. ... Because of
an arena conflict, dates of the sixth and seventh games, if
necessary, were switched to May 16 and May 18, with Game 6 at
Colorado and Game 7 at Anaheim. ... Anaheim RW Corey Perry was
scratched because of a knee injury. ... All four meetings between
the Avalanche and the Ducks in the regular season were decided by
one goal, with Colorado winning three.