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Gaffe by Phillips costly to Senators @NHLdotcom

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -At one end of the ice, Chris Phillips barely missed getting his first point of the postseason when his potential tying shot deflected off a teammate before hitting the right post.

Then at the other end, the Ottawa defenseman committed the most egregious error of the Stanley Cup finals.

Phillips' pass went off the skates of Ottawa goalie Ray Emery and into his own net to give Anaheim a two-goal lead late in the second period, and the Ducks went on to beat the Senators 6-2 on Wednesday night to win the best-of-seven series in five games.

The 29-year-old Phillips, a member of the Senators since 1997, brought the puck out from behind the left side of the net, but Emery was slow getting back in the crease and Phillips' pass went in off the goalie's skates.

Emery never saw the puck, apparently thinking it was on Phillips' stick. Visibly shaken, Phillips skated back to the Ottawa bench with the Honda Center crowd roaring. Travis Moen got credit for a goal he had nothing to do with and the Ducks took a 3-1 lead.

Anaheim stretched its advantage to 5-2 early in the third period before Ottawa's Antoine Vermette missed a penalty shot. That sort of summed things up for the Senators, and assured the Ducks of their first NHL championship.

Thus, the Senators' quest for their first Stanley Cup in 80 years came to a decisive end with their most lopsided loss of the postseason. Each of their previous six setbacks during the postseason came by one goal including three to Anaheim.

Ottawa lost only one game in each of its three series against Eastern Conference opponents, but the Senators were no match for the bigger, more physical Ducks.

The Senators won 11 Stanley Cups between 1890 and 1934. They returned to the NHL as an expansion team before the 1992-93 season, and reached the finals this year for the first time since their return.

The Senators were trying to become the first team from Canada to win the Cup since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings in the finals. The Ducks - the first California team ever to win the Cup - were formed as an expansion team the following season.

The Senators hoped to become just the second of 29 teams to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who trailed 3-0 before beating the Detroit Red Wings. It wasn't to be.

The first bit of bad news for Ottawa came with the announcement that center Dean McAmmond was scratched following the pregame skate. McAmmond, who had five goals and three assists in 18 postseason games, didn't play after being elbowed in the head by Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger in the third period of Game 3.

Pronger was suspended for Game 4 by the NHL, but returned to action Wednesday night.

Then, the Senators were penalized twice in the first 3 1/2 minutes, and paid the price when Andy McDonald's goal just as Ottawa's first penalty expired put the Ducks ahead for good.

The Ottawa line of Dany Heatley, (50), Jason Spezza (34) and Daniel Alfredsson (29) combined for 113 goals during the regular season and 23 in the first three playoff series. Alfredsson had four goals against the Ducks including both scores Wednesday night, but Heatley had only one and Spezza none.

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