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Mighty Ducks Drop Pre-Season Home Opener to San Jose

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim hosted San Jose for their first home pre-season game on Wednesday night, as Vesa Toskala squared off against Jean-Sebastian Giguere in the nets.

Both clubs had several first period chances, but the highlight saves in the first 20 minutes went to Giguere who stopped both Patrick Marleau and Niko Dimitrakos in all alone.

At the end of one, the Pacific Division rivals were scoreless.

San Jose had nearly two minutes of four-on-three time midway through the second only to have Giguere make a brilliant save on Marco Sturm at the doorstep.

Anaheim would finally break the ice and take the 1-0 late in the second.  A save by Vesa Toskala bounced out to an uncovered Todd Fedoruk.  Toskala had not reached the other side of the crease and Scott Hannan slid in front to cover the lower half of the goal, but Fedoruk lifted it upstairs for the go-ahead tally.

The Ducks took the 1-0 lead to the lockerroom.

With 12 minutes left in regulation, Corey Perry broke on Toskala looking to increase the lead.  The Finnish netminder made a spectacular stop, only to see the rebound go directly to a Ducks player.  Toskala laid out in the crease and took away the second shot.  By the time Toskala gained his footing again, Perry again had the puck.  As the Anaheim prospect circled behind the net for a wrap-around, Toskala quickly covered his post and kept San Jose within one.

With five minutes remaining, the shots were even at 27, but Anaheim maintained the one-goal advantage.

San Jose would not quit and on their 29th shot, they finally solved Giguere.  At the three minute marker, Dimitrakos skated the puck around the faceoff circle toward the slot.  He then calmly ripped a wrist shot above Giguere's glove hand to tie the contest.

The late goal sent the game to overtime where a two-on-one rush by Patrick Marleau and Hannan nearly won the contest, but Hannan has to force a back-handed shot that just went wide.  A fortunate bounce off Giguere found a pinching Tom Preissing with less than a minute left, but again the Anaheim netminder was there for the save and the shootout would settle the contest.

In the shootout, Marleau and Dimitrakos were stopped on their shots, while Marco Sturm put home his shot.  Since Perry and Selanne had missed for Anaheim, Toskala faced Sergei Fedorov in the game-ending moment.  Toskala forced Fedorov to shoot wide and the Ducks lost 2-1.

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