Ducks complete 4-1 domination of Senators; wins Stanley Cup
The Anaheim Ducks were born on the silver screen and came of age by capturing the shiniest of silver cups. They dropped the mighty from...
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Ducks were born on the silver screen and came of age by capturing the shiniest of silver cups.
They dropped the mighty from their name but not their game and skated off with the first Stanley Cup championship in California history.
The 14-year-old Ducks captured the NHL title with a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, ending the series in five games in front of the home folks.
For the first time, the Stanley Cup can enjoy an NHL western home, and the Ducks' victory came at the expense of Canada. The cherished trophy was born in Ottawa, but no team north of the border has won it since Montreal in 1993.
"Canada loves their hockey, and from what I heard out there, we have quite a few fans who love their hockey out here, too," said captain Scott Niedermayer, a four-time champion from British Columbia and this year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Calgary, Edmonton and now Ottawa — in its first trip since the Senators were reborn in 1992 — had three straight chances only to be done in by U.S. clubs from the sun belt. Tampa Bay, Carolina and Anaheim aren't traditional hockey hotbeds but they have been the Cup's warm-weather homes since 2004.
Niedermayer brought his brother, Rob, and teammates Teemu Selanne and Chris Pronger along for the ride for their first Stanley Cup. Rob Niedermayer is one of three Ducks left from the losing side in 2003 when Scott and the New Jersey Devils captured their third title in Game 7.
Only goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere had something to smile about in 2003 when he was given the Conn Smythe. This was so much sweeter as he stopped 11 shots in the clincher. The biggest roar for him came when Antoine Vermette had the puck slide wide of the post during a third-period penalty shot, the 10th in Final history.
Scott Niedermayer finally earned the MVP award many thought he deserved four years ago. His biggest thrill came when he handed the Cup off to Rob.
"I don't think I'll ever have a better feeling than that in my career," Rob said. "When he came here, I know he turned down a lot from New Jersey and he had a lot of fond memories there."
The 36-year-old Selanne, the Ducks' leading scorer this season, waited 14 seasons to become a champion. Pronger was with Edmonton last season when the Oilers lost in seven games to Carolina. He returned to the lineup for the clincher after serving a one-game suspension.
It was a perfect finish after demanding a trade from Edmonton last summer.
"This is a special moment," he said. "It's always worth it when you win it."
Andy McDonald started the scoring 3:41 into the first period with a power-play goal, his third tally in two games, and Rob Niedermayer made it 2-0 with 2:19 left. Travis Moen had two goals, one that never touched his stick and another in conventional fashion.
Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson scored twice in the second period, including a shorthanded goal that cut Anaheim's lead to one for a second time, but the Senators couldn't shake off a fluke goal that defenseman Chris Phillips put into his own net with a pass off the skates of goalie Ray Emery with 4:16 remaining.
That one was credited to Moen. When Francois Beauchemin scored a power-play goal with 1:32 left in the second, the Ducks' two-goal lead was back.