The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim remained perfect in overtime as goaltenter Jean-Sebastien Giguere shutout the New Jersey Devils and veteran forward Steve Thomas scored just thirty-nine seconds into the extra period to put the Ducks past the Devils and tie the Stanley Cup Finals series at two games apiece.
Anaheim is now 7-0 in overtime playoff games this season, including Games Three and Four of the Finals, both played on their home ice. Ten of the Ducks’ fourteen wins have come in overtime.
Thomas, a late-season acquisition, scored for the Ducks after picking up the rebound from a Samuel Pahlsson shot in the right circle.
“I thought their D-man was going to get to it,” Thomas said. “I just went to the net, and it came right to me and I shot it. … When you have an opportunity to score an overtime goal like that, that’s the ultimate.”
The Ducks had fallen behind in the series after being shutout by Devils’ netminder Martin Brodeur in both Games One and Two in New Jersey.
“We gave them too much respect, and we needed to go out there and play our game, do what we’ve done all year. (As a result) there is a hell of a lot of difference on the ice,” Giguere said.
“It’s a lot different going back to Jersey 2-2 instead of 3-1,” Thomas said. “We knew after those two games in Jersey we were a lot better team than we showed. We decided it was time to turn up our game. It was a little bit embarrassing to play the way we played in the first two games.”
Brodeur agreed that the series has changed dramatically since the teams left New Jersey.
“They feel pretty good about themselves, and on the other side, we just blew a 2-0 lead,” he said. “So it’s kind of hard to bring any kind of momentum into Game 5. But we’ll regroup. … It’s really important for us to have that confidence that we’re going to be hard to beat in our building, because they didn’t play well in those games.”