The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim continued their Cinderella post-season, defeating the Minnesota Wild, 2-1, to sweep their Western Conference Finals series and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Anaheim is the lowest-seeded team to make the Stanley Cup Finals since the Vancouver Canucks advanced in 1994, only to fall to the New York Rangers. They are making their first Finals appearance in the franchise’s ten-year history.
The Ducks have ridden goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere throughout the playoffs. Giguere has lost only twice in fourteen games this postseason and allowed a single goal against in the Western Conference Finals, the lowest total ever in a best-of-seven series.
Giguere made twenty-four saves on twenty-five shots on his twenty-sixth birthday Friday. “It’s a great birthday present, something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid,” said Giguere, who stopped 122 of 123 Minnesota shots in the Western Conference finals. “Just to be part of this is very exceptional.”
Adam Oates, who will be making his second Stanley Cup Finals appearance, scored both Anaheim goals, leading the Ducks’ comeback after being down 1-0.
Minnesota’s Andrew Brunette scored the only Wild goal of the series less than five minutes into the game.
Anaheim now awaits the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between Ottawa and New Jersey. The Devils lead that series, two games to one.