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Selanne, Ducks edge Wings in Game 1

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It's only one game, Teemu Selanne insisted. But a win in the postseason, particularly an opener, is always big deal. Even Selanne admitted such.

Selanne sealed the deal for the Ducks, scoring a power-play goal early in the third period and lifting Anaheim to 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the opening game of the Western Conference quarterfinal series before a sold-out crowd of 17,200 at Honda Center on Tuesday night.

"We'll enjoy it a little bit, but you have to move on," Selanne said. "This the best time for a hockey player. Every shift, every shot, every goal matters. That's why it's so special. It's a good start."

Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller also was a catalyst in the win, stopping 21 shots and allowing only a power-play goal late in the first period. However, Hiller and the second-seeded Ducks blanked the seventh-seeded Red Wings from that point on.

"We wanted to start strong, especially at home (since) we didn't play that well (in the final games of the regular season)," said Hiller, who stopped 10 shots in the third period. "So it's definitely important to get that one and have some confidence. It's always easier to start with a win."

Selanne, a 42-year-old veteran playing in his 12th postseason and eighth with the Ducks, scored on a power play at 1:29 of the third. He took a pass from defenseman Ben Lovejoy and lit up the lamp with a shot from the left circle. It came with only 13 seconds left on the power play, which started with 29 seconds remaining in the second period on a delay-of-game penalty on Jakub Kindl after he fired a puck into the stands.

"I know him well enough. You can tell when he's got his legs early," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said of Selanne. "The puck was following him a little bit tonight. I didn't know if he was going to score, but I knew when he was on the ice, there was a chance. I was happy for him."

Francois Beauchemin added an empty-netter with 23 seconds remaining.

Detroit had won two of the three regular-season meetings between the teams, including both games in Anaheim. However, the Red Wings never led Tuesday. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 24 shots, but he clearly got beat on Selanne's shot.

"I didn't think we were great," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought we had a fine first period. We didn't manage the puck very well. We didn't move it from the back to our forwards. We ended up spread out, forwards at the far blue line and our defense making long passes.

"I didn't think we were very good, so give them credit. We didn't play as well as we have for whatever reason."

The Ducks struck first, quickly taking advantage of a power-play opportunity. Nick Bonino deflected Cam Fowler's shot past Howard and into the net at 10:24 of the first for a 1-0 lead. Bonino scored just four seconds after Detroit's Jordin Tootoo was sent to the penalty box for cross checking.

The Red Wings tied the score with a power-play goal of their own. Daniel Cleary converted at 16:05 of the first on assists by Kindl and Patrick Eaves.

"The playoffs are a new season. It doesn't really matter what you did before," Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg said. "It's the first to four (wins). They got the first one, we'll regroup tomorrow and look forward to Game 2."

The teams play Thursday at Honda Center.

NOTES: The clubs are meeting for the sixth time in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Detroit holds a 3-2 edge. The Red Wings captured a seven-game series in 2009, the last time they met the Ducks in the postseason. ... With the exception of Dallas vs. Edmonton and Buffalo vs. Philadelphia, no two teams have met more in the postseason than Anaheim and Detroit. ... Kindl, Brendan Smith and Danny DeKeyser of the Red Wings are performing in the playoffs for the first time. Anaheim has six neophytes: Andrew Cogliano, Emerson Etem, Viktor Fasth, Patrick Maroon, Devante Smith-Pelly, Brad Staubitz and Sami Vatanen. ... Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson were among the scratches for the Red Wings, while Luca Sbisa, who missed the final regular-season contests with a lower-body injury, and Radek Dvorak were scratches for the Ducks.
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