Ducks Force Game 7

Archived from 2002-03 season.

2003 Playoffs

Paul Kariya had a goal and two assists and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 to force a deciding Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals.

"He was courageous," Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. "Anytime that happens, it's a big message to your team about leadership."

Kariya's goal came just minutes after he was leveled by a brutal hit by Devils' Scott Stevens. Kariya had to be helped off the ice following the hit, but he returned shortly to a thunderous ovation by the sell-out crowd.

"I sensed he was there, but I thought I had a little bit more time than that," Kariya said. "That's Scott's game. He's very patient with his hits and he times them right. But I thought it was a little bit late."

NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell issued a statement following the game saying the hit was legal.

"Stevens struck Kariya with his shoulder," Campbell said. "In reviewing the hit frame by frame, it was clear that the hit occurred less than one second after Kariya made the pass."

Steve Rucchin also scored twice for the Ducks, who will travel to New Jersey for Game 7 on Monday.

"I think the great thing about it is you go in there and get spanked three times, we can't play worse than we've played there," Babcock said. "We've got to be due for a good one. I think that's positive."

This is the first time since 1971 when home team has won the first six games. That year Montreal won the Cup on the road in Chicago.

"It seems we've never done anything easy all year," Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner said. "We have to find a way to regroup and bring our game Monday."

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