Devils Down Ducks, Claim Cup

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim didn't have a storybook ending left in them after forcing a Game Seven in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Ducks were shutout by Martin Brodeur as the New Jersey Devils claimed their third Stanley Cup in nine years.

The Devils tight defensive game and stellar netminding by Brodeur left Anaheim struggling to create offense but unable to put the puck in the net. Brodeur ended the series with his third shutout of the Finals and an NHL record seven playoff shutouts.

The Ducks and Devils seemed to be off to a defensive battle in the first period. Like in Games Three and Four in Anaheim, chances for both sides were limited. The teams combined for a total of only twelve shots in the period. The score remained tied at zero after twenty minutes of play.

New Jersey broke the game open in the second period. Scoring twice on twelve shots, the Devils pulled away from Anaheim on their way to claiming the Cup.

Rookie call-up Michael Rupp scored the game's first goal, his first goal of the playoffs and the eventual Cup-winner, just 2:22 into the period. Rupp deflected a Scott Niedermayer shot from the blue line between Anaheim goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere's pads while set up in front of the crease.

Anaheim attempted to get their offense going but Brodeur held strong and the Devils added a second goal almost exactly ten minutes later.

At 12:18, Jeff Friesen, acquired from Anaheim in an offseason trade last summer, put the rebound of a Rupp shot past Giguere and gave the Devils a two-goal lead.

Anaheim couldn't bounce back from the two-goal deficit. Friesen added a second goal with 3:44 remaining in the game and the Devils finished off the Ducks.

Despite his loss in the deciding game, the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP went to Anaheim's Giguere, who led the seventh-seeded Ducks to wins over second-seeded Detroit, top-seeded Dallas and the Minnesota Wild before finally falling to the Devils.

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