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NHL Playoff Game Summary - Anaheim at Dallas

(Thursday, April 24th)

Final Score: Anaheim 4, Dallas 3 (5-OT)

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Petr Sykora scored 48 seconds into the fifth overtime period and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 60 saves to lift the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series at American Airlines Center.

The game was the fourth-longest in Stanley Cup playoff history.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Saturday in Dallas.

Mike Leclerc started the play on the winning goal by working the puck free behind the net. Adam Oates picked it up and backhanded a pass into the slot for Sykora, who snapped a one-timer past Marty Turco high on the stick side for his first goal of the post-season.

Jason Krog, Rob Niedermayer and Steve Rucchin also scored for the Ducks, who have not lost in the 2003 playoffs. Anaheim, the seventh seed, stunned the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings in a four-game sweep in the opening round.

Giguere was the star of that series, stopping 165-of-171 shots. He made 40 saves in the five overtime periods alone in this one.

"We played hard, that's all," said Mighty Ducks head coach Mike Babcock. "Guys are exhausted and guys are dehydrated, but a win gives you a chance to get your energy back."

Derian Hatcher, Jason Arnott and Brenden Morrow scored for Dallas. The top- seeded Stars advanced with a six-game victory over Edmonton in the first round.

Turco finished with 50 saves.

"That's playoff hockey at it's finest right there," said Stars head coach Dave Tippett.

Anaheim was outshot 40-27 in overtime. The Ducks also won Game 1 of their series against Detroit in similar fashion, being outshot 36-13 and winning at 3:18 of the third extra period on a goal by Paul Kariya.

The Ducks appeared to win this game with 5:18 left in the third overtime period. Keith Carney's shot from the slot was stopped by Turco, but Rucchin got to the rebound in front of the crease and flipped a shot that deflected off Turco and hit the leg of Anaheim's Steve Thomas at the right post. The puck fell behind the goal line, but the officials went to the video review and determined the net had already been slightly dislodged, although the decision was questionable.

"Don't know what happened there or how it went in," Turco said. "I really have no idea."

Dallas, which had dominated the third extra period until that point, had a chance to win it with just over a minute left, but Stu Barnes' shot from the left circle rang off the crossbar. The Stars finished with a 17-7 shots advantage in the third overtime.

"In the first couple of overtimes we felt we really took the game to them," Hatcher said.

The fourth overtime dragged a bit, as the teams combined for just 11 shots. The Stars put the puck in the net at 7:58 of the fourth extra period when Philippe Boucher fired a slap shot past Giguere, but the whistle had blown for an offside.

The Stars trailed 3-2 and were flustered by Giguere throughout the third period, then scored the tying goal with 2:47 left on a deflection.

Niedermayer won a draw for Anaheim and had a chance to clear the zone, but couldn't and Stephane Robidas kept the puck in at the right point. Robidas sent a shot toward the net and Morrow was able to deflect it out of mid-air. The puck fluttered off the top of Giguere's glove and into the net, giving Morrow his first goal of the playoffs.

Each team had a number of good chances in the first overtime period.

The Stars were given a power play at the 4:12 mark when Anaheim's Ruslan Salei went off for hooking, but Dallas failed to put a shot on net during the man- advantage.

Midway through the period, Giguere made a save on a shot by Robidas, but kicked the rebound into the slot for Niko Kapanen, who had a wide open net. However, an Anaheim defender got a stick on the puck to deflect it wide.

Moments later, Turco made a sliding stop on a re-direct chance by Rucchin and the netminder turned aside a 3-on-2 rush with just under seven minutes left.

Giguere made a glove save on a hard wrister by Barnes with 6:15 left and Turco gloved a one-timer from the slot by Leclerc with 2 1/2 minutes to play.

Dallas dominated play throughout the second overtime, outshooting Anaheim 12-6. Modano had a hard wrist shot from the slot stopped by Giguere with 12 1/2 minutes left in the period and the Anaheim netminder turned aside a shot from the left circle by Scott Young and got his left pad on Morrow's rebound chance at the right side of the crease with 7:23 remaining.

"I thought we had an ample number of chances," Tippett said. "You just have to find a way to bury those chances."

Turco's best save came at the very end of the second overtime period when he got a piece of Kariya's rocket from the left wing.

The Ducks scored first with 6:52 left in the first period on Krog's third goal of the playoffs. Sandis Ozolinsh kept the puck in the Dallas zone at the right point and Krog skated into the right circle before snapping a wrist shot over Turco's glove.

The Stars tied it just over 4 1/2 minutes later. Mike Modano carried the puck into the Anaheim zone along the left wing and left a pass at the point for Hatcher, who fired a shot through a screen and past Giguere for his first goal of the playoffs.

Anaheim then had a two-man advantage for the final 59 seconds of the period when Turco was called for high-sticking with Kirk Muller already in the penalty box for holding the stick. The Ducks had a couple of good chances, but failed to beat Turco.

The Ducks scored shorthanded to grab a 2-1 lead just 4:04 into the second period. Salei chipped the puck out of the Anaheim zone and Niedermayer outraced Dallas defenseman Sergei Zubov. Niedermayer lifted Zubov's stick and stole the puck at the Dallas blue line, then skated in alone through the right circle and snapped a shot past Turco for his first goal of the playoffs.

Rucchin, who scored the overtime winner in the clinching Game 4 of the first round series against Detroit, made it 3-1 at the 8:58 mark. Leclerc did the dirty work behind the Dallas net and fed a pass into the slot for Rucchin, who quickly fired a shot past Turco's glove.

The Stars, who had managed a total of just eight shots midway through the second period, answered with 3:28 left in the second. Arnott gained control of the puck behind the net and skated out into the left circle. He took a shot that was handled by Giguere, but the rebound caromed just below the right circle and Arnott was able to slide it past the screened netminder for his third goal of the playoffs.

Game Notes

This was the longest game since May 4, 2000 when Philadelphia posted a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh, as Keith Primeau scored at 12:01 of the fifth overtime...The top two overtime games each went over 100 minutes of extra time in the 1930s...The longest game in Mighty Ducks history had been the triple-overtime Game 1 victory over Detroit in the first round...The Stars previous longest game was 57:34 of overtime in a 3-2 win over Edmonton in Game 4 of the 1999 conference quarterfinals...Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play.

04/25 03:22:58 ET

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