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30 мая 2003 года
Tverdovsky latest Devil to produce against former team - SportsTicker

By Daren Smith
SportsTicker Hockey Editor

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - Oleg Tverdovsky does not have a grudge against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, even if he played Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals like he did.

Tverdovsky set up the first two goals Thursday night as the New Jersey Devils took a two games to none lead in the best-of-seven series with another 3-0 blanking of the Ducks.

The 27-year-old Russian spent parts of five seasons in two stints with Anaheim before he was traded with left wing Jeff Friesen to New Jersey last July in the deal involving Petr Sykora.

For a while, it appeared Tverdovsky would not get a chance to face his former team. He was a healthy scratch eight times in the first three rounds of the playoffs, sitting out the final six games of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa.

"It's tough, but you just try to stay positive, work hard on the conditioning and make sure I'm in game mode," Tverdovsky said. "It's my ninth year in the league, so I just try to control my emotions and stay positive. We have a lot of guys on defense, a lot of depth. Any of us who gets the call gets the job done."

Tverdovsky got the call from coach Pat Burns and returned to the lineup for Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. While the former first-round draft pick logged just over 13 minutes, it was Friesen who scored twice in a 3-0 victory.

"Jeff, you can see fire in his eyes," Tverdovsky said. "You can see this drive in him, he's almost relentless out there. He works so hard."

In Game Two, Friesen shared the spotlight with Tverdovsky, who increased his ice time by two minutes and helped the Devils increase their lead in the series.

During a brief power play early in the second period, Tverdovsky fired a shot from the right point that hit Anaheim defenseman Kurt Sauer in front of the net and caromed to Patrik Elias. All alone near the right goalpost, Elias had an easy tap-in to put New Jersey ahead.

"That's what we want to do because that's how goals are scored in this league these days," Tverdovsky explained. "There's no fancy plays, all goals are hard-working goals. We got a couple of lucky bounces. We have to make sure we get some shots from the point that get through on net and things will happen."

That's just what occurred 7 1/2 minutes later after a deflected shot came back to Tverdovsky at the blue line. Again, he unleashed a blast that hit the knee of teammate Scott Gomez and caromed past goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere to make it 2-0.

To Tverdovsky, an offensive-minded defenseman, the strategy is simple.

"As soon as you get the puck on net, everything starts from there," he explained. "We have guys who go hard to the net and getting traffic in front of him and getting 

rebounds. That's all we're doing."

All Tverdovsky did was earn the second star in his second career Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

"He's always ready to play," New Jersey defenseman Scott Stevens said. "He got the puck through a couple times tonight, made some good plays. It's nice. I think anytime you've gone from one team to another, you want to play your best hockey."

Tverdovsky agreed.

"I don't think it can get more exciting than playing in the Stanley Cup Finals against any team. But playing against the Ducks, maybe I have a little extra edge," he said.

Anaheim selected Tverdovsky with the second overall pick in the 1994 draft. He played just 1 1/2 seasons with the Ducks before they traded him to Winnipeg in the deal that landed Teemu Selanne. After 4 1/2 seasons with the Jets-Phoenix Coyotes, Tverdovsky returned to the Ducks in a June 1999 trade.

He was the leading scorer among Anaheim defensemen for three straight seasons before the Ducks pulled the trigger on last summer's six-player trade that helped build a Stanley Cup finalist.

"I don't think anybody was mad at me there, and I wasn't mad at them, either," Tverdovsky said. "This organization was great to me, I had a lot of fun (there). They treated me well all the time. Things happen. The team went a different direction, and look where they are now."

Thanks in part to Tverdovsky, things also are looking pretty good for the Devils.

Страничка Олега Твердовского на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


12 марта. Боль железного Олега - Советский Спорт

15 февраля. Devils: Tverdovsky makes his point


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