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Bryzgalov's third straight shutout lifts Ducks to 2-0 series lead

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Ilya Bryzgalov wasn't terribly impressed
that he tied an NHL rookie record set in 1945.

"It's not a big deal for me. It's fun because we won the
game," the Anaheim goalie said Sunday after he blanked Colorado in
a 3-0 Mighty Ducks' victory for his third consecutive shutout of
the playoffs.

The victory gave Anaheim a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference
semifinal that resumes in Colorado on Tuesday night.

Bryzgalov, who made 22 saves in the win, matched the record by
Toronto's Frank McCool, who had three postseason shutouts in a row
as a rookie against Detroit in 1945.

Bryzgalov supplanted 2003 playoffs MVP Jean-Sebastien Giguere as
the Ducks' No. 1 goalie during the opening round against Calgary.
The 25-year-old Russian shut out the Flames in Game 7, then blanked
the Avalanche in Anaheim's series-opening 5-0 win.

"I don't even think he realizes," Anaheim's Teemu Selanne said
of Bryzgalov's impressive string. "He's just a guy who goes out
there and has fun and doesn't take any pressure or anything."

Selanne grinned and added, "So don't tell him."

Bryzgalov hasn't allowed a goal in 229 minutes, 42 seconds,
longest ever by an NHL rookie in the postseason, and fourth longest
for any goalie. George Hainsworth tops the list with a stretch of
270:08 in 1930. Giguere is sixth on the list with 217:54 scoreless
minutes in 2003.

Bryzgalov has said reading philosophers such as Socrates and
Plato has helped him put things in perspective, and that he feels
no pressure in goal because hockey is, after all, a game.

"I concentrate for a game and help my team win the game," he
said. "I always feel confident. Right now I feel confident because
our team is playing well and they're giving me confidence."

Ryan Getzlaf opened the scoring in the first period, and Ruslan
Salei and Joffrey Lupul added goals in the second.

The 6-foot-3, 208-pound Bryzgalov's play impressed Colorado's
Ian Laperriere.

"He's a big kid. He made unbelievable saves when he had to, but
if you put more quality shots on the net and more traffic, you'll
have more chance to score," Laperriere said.

Dominating the second game almost as handily as they did the
first, the Ducks outshot the Avalanche 35-22, and Colorado had only
10 shots until the final period.

"We had our best chances in the third period," Colorado coach
Joel Quenneville said. "We didn't generate a whole lot in the
first two. We still need the puck more and more people getting in
there, and we're having a hard time finding it right now."

He hopes returning home will change the momentum.

"It's exciting to get back and play in front of our fans on
home ice. We've played well there all year," Quenneville said.
"We've just got to get back there and grab the next game."

Bryzgalov took over for the Ducks when Giguere missed the first
game of the opening playoffs with a lower body injury, then Giguere
returned and was inconsistent, so the Russian got the job.

Although the Ducks' defense kept the pressure off the goalie
most of the game, he made several fines saves, including reaching
behind him to snare the puck on a close-range shot by Alex Tanguay.

Among his other saves was blocking Joe Sakic's shot from the
slot on an Avalanche power play -- Colorado's first shot -- 12:55
into the game. Sakic got off another shot near the crease at 18:40
of the second period, but Bryzgalov turned that aside as well.

Colorado goalie Jose Theodore was considerably busier, making 32
saves.

Lupul made it 3-0 at 12:24 of the period after Salei had scored
at 4:41. Salei got his second goal of the postseason on a slap shot
from just inside the left point.

The Ducks expected the Avalanche to come out strongly early in
the second game being outshot 14-4 in the first period of the
lopsided loss in the opener. It didn't happen.

Colorado didn't get off a shot for the first 7:05, had only
three in the first 15 minutes and was outshot 11-6 in the first
period.

Finally, on a power play that began at 14:08 of the first
period, the Avalanche managed two shots -- but so did the
short-handed Ducks.

Game notes
The Ducks have scored 13 straight goals dating to Game 6
against Calgary. ... For the second game in a row, the Ducks skated
and hit with much more energy than the Avalanche. Anaheim had just
one day off between Game 7 against Calgary and Friday's
second-round opener against Colorado. The Avalanche had been off
since wrapping up their series against Dallas in Game 5 on Sunday.
... Anaheim RW Corey Perry missed his second game in a row because
of a knee injury. ... Giguere had three consecutive shutouts and a
total of six in the 2003 playoffs, when the Ducks lost Game 7 of
the Stanley Cup finals to New Jersey.