Four Visitors Win NHL Playoff Games

Friday, April 11th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The road to success in the NHL playoffs might be, well, taking to the road. All four visitors were winners Thursday night, highlighted by Anaheim's 2-1 victory at Detroit in triple overtime. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 63 saves, setting an NHL record for stops in a playoff debut.

Minnesota, a third-year franchise in its first postseason, outskated Colorado 4-2. Washington, which finished one point behind Tampa Bay for the Southeast Division crown, beat the Lightning 3-0 behind 28 saves by Olaf Kolzig.

And St. Louis routed the Canucks 6-0 in Vancouver, with Chris Osgood needing only 20 saves.

The previous night, only New Jersey held its home edge against Boston, while Toronto won in Philadelphia, the New York Islanders were victorious in Ottawa, and Edmonton won in Dallas.

So why do teams fight so hard all season for home-ice advantage?

``We lost a game certainly,'' Canucks coach Marc Crawford said, ``but there are three other teams on our side that are in the same predicament as us, although I don't think any of them got drubbed like we did tonight.''

Mighty Ducks 2, Red Wings 1, 3 OT

Paul Kariya ended it 3:18 into the third overtime, but Giguere was the story.

Giguere set the record thanks in part to making 20 in the first overtime, the most any goalie has stopped in an extra period. He kept the defending champion Red Wings frustrated until Kariya picked up a rebound in the slot and fired home a wrist shot.

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

``When you're a rookie in the playoffs, you don't know what the intensity in the playoffs is like, you kind of suspect what it's like, but you don't know,'' Giguere said. ``I've never been in a sixth period like that, so knowing I can go through that is good for me and my confidence.''

But not for the Red Wings, who swept Anaheim in playoff series in 1997 and '99.

``He played unbelievable,'' said Luc Robitaille, who hit the crossbar and a goalpost on the same shot in first overtime. ``He found the puck it seems all night. There were a few that I know he never saw and he stopped them.''

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.

Blues 6, Canucks 0

Cory Stillman and Tyson Nash scored in the opening two minutes, Alexander Khavanov scored twice later on, and Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight also connected, The Blues ended a five-game winless streak from the end of the regular season.

Osgood, acquired at the trade deadline for his playoff experience, improved to 13-1-4 against Vancouver with his 10th career playoff shutout.

Dan Cloutier stopped just 22 shots for the Canucks, who matched a 23-year-old franchise record for worst playoff loss and haven t won a postseason game on home ice in seven years.

Wild 4, Avalanche 2

Dwayne Roloson stopped 39 shots and Minnesota scored three goals in 4:22 in the second period as the Wild won their playoff debut in shocking fashion. Colorado has won two Stanley Cups in seven years and a record nine straight division championships.

Filip Kuba scored the first postseason goal in Wild history 5:33 into the middle period, one-timing a pass from Andrew Brunette on a power play. Marian Gaborik pushed the lead to two 3:55 later on another power play, knocking in a rebound that went between Patrick Roy's legs and off his right skate.

Wes Walz lifted a shot over Roy just 25 seconds later.

``It is huge. There is no doubt,'' Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. ``Before the series we felt it would be nice to get one game, it would be nice just to get the feel of winning in the playoffs. The guys were pretty happy with that.''

Capitals 3, Lightning 0

Robert Lang scored two goals and Kolzig outplayed Tampa Bay goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, whose play since the All-Star break was instrumental in the third-seeded Lightning going 14-2-8 down the stretch to win their first Southeast Division title.

The Washington goalie recorded his sixth playoff shutout.

Michael Nylander also scored for the sixth-seeded Capitals, ending any hopes of a comeback by the young, inexperienced Lightning in their first postseason game in seven years.