2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Stanley Cup Finals - (E2) New Jersey Devils Vs. (W7) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

(E2) New Jersey Devils Vs. (W7) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

The 2003 Stanley Cup Finals pitted the second-seeded Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils against the seventh-seeded Western Conference champion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Devils, who finished the season with 108 points, defeated the Mighty Ducks in seven games to win the Stanley Cup.

The series opened at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In games one and two, Martin Brodeur kept the Ducks off the score board while the Devils players continually dominated the Ducks. The Devils shut out Anaheim 3-0 in both games.

Down 2-0 after two games, the series shifted to the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim in Southern California. Game three was remembered for the clumsy mistake from Martin Brodeur when he accidentally dropped his stick when the puck came to him, the puck deflected off his fallen stick and into the net to give the Ducks a lucky break and a 2–1 lead. The Devils would later tie the game, but lose in overtime. Over the mistake with his stick, Brodeur later claimed, "It was just one of those once in a lifetime things."

Game four had no scoring throughout regulation and was a battle between goaltenders Brodeur and Giguere. But Anaheim again came out on top in overtime, winning 1–0 and tying the series 2-2. Game five, at the Meadowlands saw a continual battle for the first half of the game. With the game tied 3–3 in the second period, the Devils took the lead with a deflection goal by Jay Pandolfo that was initially waved off by referees due to a kicking motion dispute with the skates, but replays showed there was no distinct kicking motion from the skates, thus the goal counted. This would prove to deflate the Ducks for the rest of the game, as Jamie Langenbrunner scored two more goals for the Devils to give New Jersey a 6–3 win and a 3–2 series lead.

With New Jersey looking to clinch the series, game six in Anaheim saw the Mighty Ducks return the favor of game five to the Devils with complete dominance throughout the game. Quite possibly the most remembered moment of the entire series came when the Ducks were winning 3–1 in the second period. Ducks captain Paul Kariya didn't see Scott Stevens coming after he passed the puck and was leveled by the Devils captain in a hit similar to the check that knocked out Eric Lindros during the 2000 playoffs and caused Lindros to miss the next season. Kariya was lying motionless for a few minutes, and then was escorted to the locker room. Kariya unexpectedly returned to the bench minutes later. About eleven minutes after the hit, fired a slap shot that found the back of the net. This helped the Ducks win the game 5–2 and sent the series to a seventh game. Game seven on New Jersey home ice saw the Devils once more completely dominate the Ducks. The game-winning goal was scored by Michael Rupp. Rupp became the first player in Stanley Cup history to have his first playoff goal be the Stanley Cup winning goal. Jeff Friesen dominated his former teammates with two goals. The 3–0 win gave the Devils their third Stanley Cup victory as Anaheim could not complete their Cinderella run. However, the Mighty Ducks wouldn't leave empty handed; for his stellar play throughout the playoffs and finals, Jean-Sébastien Giguère was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. He became only the fifth player, and fourth goaltender, in NHL history to have won the trophy as a member of the losing team. Many were surprised by the Conn Smythe trophy being awarded to the losing team. Martin Brodeur had set modern-day records with his outstanding performance, including three shutouts in the Final, including one in the all-important Cup-clinching game seven. However, many experts felt that the Devils' votes were distributed among many players who had played well in the series.

This was only the third time in NHL history and the first time since 1965 that the home team won all the games in the final.


May 27 New Jersey Devils 3-0 Anaheim Mighty Ducks Continental Airlines Arena Recap
No scoring First period No scoring
(Brylin, Gionta) Friesen 6 – 1:45 Second period No scoring
(Elias, Gomez) Marshall 5 – 5:34
(White, Brodeur) Friesen 7 - en – 19:38
Third period No scoring
Martin Brodeur 16 saves / 16 shots Goalie stats Jean-Sébastien Giguère 27 saves / 29 shots
May 29 New Jersey Devils 3-0 Anaheim Mighty Ducks Continental Airlines Arena Recap
No scoring First period No scoring
(Tverdovsky, Gomez) Elias 3 - pp – 4:42
(Tverdovsky, Elias) Gomez 2 – 12:11
Second period No scoring
(Gionta, Niedermayer) Friesen 8 – 4:22 Third period No scoring
Martin Brodeur 16 saves / 16 shots Goalie stats Jean-Sébastien Giguère 22 saves / 25 shots
May 31 Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3-2 OT New Jersey Devils Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Recap
No scoring First period No scoring
(Ozolinsh) Chouinard 1 – 3:39
(Giguère) Ozolinsh 2 – 14:47
Second period 14:02 – Elias 4 (Langenbrunner, Rafalski)
No scoring Third period 9:11 – Gomez 3 (Marshall, Elias)
(Oates) Salei 2 – 6:59 First overtime period No scoring
Jean-Sébastien Giguère 29 saves / 31 shots Goalie stats Martin Brodeur 30 saves / 33 shots
June 2 Anaheim Mighty Ducks 1-0 OT New Jersey Devils Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Recap
No scoring First period No scoring
No scoring Second period No scoring
No scoring Third period No scoring
(Pahlsson, Ozolinsh) Thomas 3 – 0:39 First overtime period No scoring
Jean-Sébastien Giguère 26 saves / 26 shots Goalie stats Martin Brodeur 25 saves / 26 shots
June 5 New Jersey Devils 6-3 Anaheim Mighty Ducks Continental Airlines Arena Recap
(Stevenson, Brylin) Rheaume 1 – 3:35
(Rafalski, Gomez) Elias 5 - pp – 7:45
First period 0:42 – Sykora 3 (Oates)
12:50 – Rucchin 5 (Sykora, Kariya)
(Pandolfo, Niedermayer) Gionta 1 – 3:12
(Gionta, Stevens) Pandolfo 5 – 9:02
Second period 6:35 – Pahlsson 2 (Niedermayer, Carney)
(Rupp, Niedermayer) Langenbrunner 10 – 5:39
(Gionta) Langenbrunner 11 – 12:52
Third period No scoring
Martin Brodeur 20 saves / 23 shots Goalie stats Jean-Sébastien Giguère 31 saves / 37 shots
June 7 Anaheim Mighty Ducks 5-2 New Jersey Devils Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Recap
(Kariya, Sykora) Rucchin 6 – 4:26
(Leclerc, Niedermayer) Rucchin 7 – 13:42
(Kariya, Carney) Thomas 4 - pp – 15:59
First period No scoring
(Sykora, Oates) Kariya 6 – 17:15 Second period 2:18 – Pandolfo 6 (Madden, Gionta)
(Chistov, Havelid) Sykora 4 - pp – 3:57 Third period 10:46 - pp – Marshall 6 (Rafalski, Elias)
Jean-Sébastien Giguère 26 saves / 28 shots Goalie stats Martin Brodeur 17 saves / 22 shots
Corey Schwab 2 saves / 2 shots
June 9 New Jersey Devils 3-0 Anaheim Mighty Ducks Continental Airlines Arena Recap
No scoring First period No scoring
(Niedermayer, White) Rupp 1 – 2:22
(Rupp, Niedermayer) Friesen 9 – 12:18
Second period No scoring
(Rupp, Stevens) Friesen 10 – 16:16 Third period No scoring
Martin Brodeur 24 saves / 24 shots Goalie stats Jean-Sébastien Giguère 22 saves / 25 shots
New Jersey won series 4–3


Read more about this topic:  2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals

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