Sykora (left) celebrates with his team-mates
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Ottawa Senators opened the National Hockey League conference finals with overtime victories Saturday.
Petr Sykora scored just over eight minutes into the second extra period to give the Ducks a 1-0 win over Minnesota Wild, while Shaun van Allen was Ottawa's hero as they beat New Jersey 3-2.
It was Van Allen's first career play-off goal although he played down his role, insisting victory was a team effort.
"It feels unbelievable right now," he said.
"I give a lot of credit to my line mates. Marty Havlat made a great pass and all I had to do was put it in."
Top-seeded Ottawa squandered an early two-goal lead but
maintained home-ice advantage.
The Senators broke an NHL play-off record by holding their 11th consecutive opponent to two goals or fewer.
Joe Nieuwendyk and Jay Pandolfo scored in the second period for the Devils, who are trailing a series for the first time in this year's play-offs.
Game two is on Tuesday in Ottawa.
All nine of Anaheim's post-season victories have been by one goal.
Another constant for the Ducks has been goaltender
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, whose post-season overtime shutout streak of 159 minutes, 5 seconds is the second-longest in NHL history.
Giguere would not have had a chance to extend that streak
without a spectacular save from Marian Gaborik during a power play with 8:52 left in the second period.
It was one of 39 stops for Giguere, who made sure Sykora's goal was all that was needed.
"I was kind of surprised, but I was just hoping to get the
puck through," Sykora said of his goal.
"I tried my move, and it worked."
Ottawa 3-2 New Jersey (OT)
(Ottawa lead best of seven series 1-0)
Anaheim 1-0 Minnesota (2OT)
(Anaheim lead best of seven series 1-0)