The Detroit Red Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks in the opener of the Western Conference finals with two ugly power-play goals that must have looked awfully good to them.
Tomas Holmstrom scored with 4:54 left in regulation on a shot that hit him standing in front of goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere before hitting the ice and trickling into the net, giving Detroit a 2-1 victory on Friday night.
"We had traffic and it was a good goal," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Henrik Zetterberg's shot deflected off a Duck and got past Giguere at 3:44 of the first period and Detroit held on to the lead for nearly two periods.
Both of Detroit's goals were last touched by Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin.
"That's a freak thing that happens and it happened to us," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We'll move on."
Game 2 is tonight in Detroit before the series shifts to Anaheim.
Chris Kunitz made it 1-all early in the third period with a shot from the slot that beat Dominik Hasek on the glove side. It was the first goal Hasek gave up in nearly 157 minutes.
With two stellar goaltenders and four Norris Trophy winners -- combining to be honored as the NHL's top defenseman nine times -- it was a low-scoring game as expected.
Shortly after Holmstrom's goal, Anaheim had a chance to tie the game again on a power play and it pulled Giguere to make it a two-man advantage, but they couldn't score.
Hasek made 31 saves and Giguere stopped 17 shots.
"Dom was outstanding," Babcock said. "Dom shut the door."
The Western Conference's first-and second-seeded teams won their first two series a year after the conference's top four teams lost in the first round.
Anaheim is in the conference finals for the third time in four postseasons, more than any team since 2003. Detroit, meanwhile, is among the final four in the league for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 2002.
The Red Wings and Ducks are matched up for the fourth time in the playoffs and Detroit hopes to continue a trend.
Each of the previous three meetings have ended with sweeps, with the Red Wings winning in 1997 and 1999, and Anaheim advancing past them in 2003 with Babcock behind its bench.
It took just eight seconds in Game One for Detroit to score against the Ducks' vaunted penalty-killing unit.
Zetterberg won a faceoff, got the puck back along the left boards and his shot from the bottom of the right circle hit Beauchemin and was redirected between Giguere's pads.
Anaheim allowed just three goals on 56 power plays during the first two rounds, leading to an NHL-high 94.6 percent success rate on penalty killing.
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