The Anaheim Ducks caused the first major shock of this season’s NHL playoffs by ousting the top-seeded San Jose Sharks with a 4-1 victory in game six of their Western Conference quarter-final series on Monday.
The home victory completed a 4-2 triumph for the eighth-seeded Ducks, who will be joined in the next round by Chicago after the Blackhawks beat the Calgary Flames in six games with a 4-1 road victory.
The Ducks will meet the Detroit Red Wings in one Western Conference semi-final, while Chicago’s reward for a first series win since 1996 is a showdown against the Vancouver Canucks.
Anaheim have enjoyed little success since lifting the Stanley Cup two years ago, but Monday’s victory ensured they became the first eighth-seed to defeat a regular-season champion in postseason play since Edmonton eliminated Detroit in 2006.
Teemu Selanne and Francois Beauchemin scored 83 seconds apart in the second period to clinch the win for the Ducks, who had the fewest regular-season points (91) of any of this year’s 16 playoff qualifiers.
Hiller made 17 saves in the first period, when San Jose scored their only goal, and made 36 stops for the game.
“When the other goaltender is the star, you’re likely not winning the series,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said.
Selanne broke a 1-1 tie 13:03 into the second period with a power-play goal and Beauchemin gave the Ducks a two-goal cushion less than two minutes later. Ryan Getzlaf added a fourth Anaheim goal in the third period.
Milan Michalek provided San Jose’s sole success of the night a little over 10 minutes into the game before Corey Perry responded for the home team less than three minutes later.
In Calgary, Blackhawks netminder Nikolai Khabibulin made 43 saves, 33 in the first two periods, to provide Chicago a solid foundation for their series-clinching win.
Calgary’s Todd Bertuzzi scored 54 seconds into the third period.
Patrick Kane and Adam Burish scored Chicago’s first period goals with Dustin Byfuglien, who had assists on both those goals, adding an empty-netter in the third.