Devils Take Control

Archived from 2002-03 season.

2003 Playoffs

The New Jersey Devils got back their captain Scott Stevens and cruised to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning to take a three games to one lead in the playoff series.

Stevens returned to the lineup after missing most of Game 3 with a an ear injury and scored a power-play goal in the third period.

"The way Stevens played tonight, it didn't surprise me how well he played," New Jersey center John Madden said. "I could tell by the look on his face that he was ready this morning after breakfast. There was no doubt in my mind. To have as many minutes as he did and contribute on all three goals was great."

Stevens made the decision to play Wednesday morning and wore a special protective covering over his left ear.

"I had a lot of sleep, and I think that really helped," said Stevens. "Our equipment manager did a good job, and the doctors reassured me that things should be fine. But it was my call. No one put pressure on me."

Scott Gomez and Patrik Elias also scored for the Devils, who can win the series at home in Game 5 Friday night.

"We're in a good position, but the series is far from over," Madden said.

Ducks One Win Away
Mike Leclerc scored a power-play goal with 1:47 left in the third period and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere recorded his first career playoff shutout as the Anaheim Mighty Ducks beat the Dallas Stars, 1-0, and took a stunning three games to one lead in the series.

"The good thing about goaltenders is that they are special people," Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. "When the score is all zeros, you know that one goal will win the game -- and that is a lot of pressure."

With Dallas' Jason Arnott off for crosschecking, Sandis Ozolinsh made a cross-ice pass to Leclerc, who wristed a shot from 20 feet that beat goalie Marty Turco high on the glove side.

"Both goalies played real well and allowed both teams to stay in it. We flinched first," Stars' Mike Modano said. "Giguere made a couple of phenomenal saves. He's in a zone that's hard to understand right now."

After sweeping the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings in the first round, the Ducks can knock off the top-seeded Stars on Saturday afternoon in Dallas.

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