Teemu Selanne scored the game-winner early in the third period, as the Anaheim Ducks downed the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, on Tuesday in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series from Honda Center.
Nick Bonino potted a power-play goal in the first and Francois Beauchemin added an empty-netter to seal the victory for the Pacific Division champion Ducks, who received 21 saves from Jonas Hiller.
"Everybody did what they had to do," Selanne said. "It doesn't matter if you play two minutes or 25 minutes. It was a good, solid effort, but it's just one game. We'll enjoy it a little bit, but we have to move on."
Daniel Cleary registered the lone Detroit goal, while Jimmy Howard allowed two goals on 26 shots for the Red Wings, who won their final four regular-season games to clinch their 22nd consecutive playoff berth.
"I didn't think we were great," Detroit coach Mike Babcock admitted. "I didn't think we were very good, so give them credit. We didn't play as well as we have for whatever reason."
Game 2 of this best-of-seven series is slated for Thursday in Anaheim.
With the score locked at 1-1 late in a scoreless second stanza, Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl was whistled for delay of game after flipping the puck over the glass from his own zone with 19 seconds left in the period.
The penalty proved costly, as the Ducks cashed in on the man-advantage early in the final frame.
Anaheim won a scrum behind the Detroit net and the puck squirted out to Ben Lovejoy at the left point. Lovejoy then skated into the high slot before sliding a pass to the left circle for Selanne, who rifled a one-timer that sailed high past the short-side of Howard for a 2-1 lead 1:29 into the third.
Howard left the net in favor of the extra attacker with just over 1:30 left, but Hiller was able to keep the Red Wings off the board before Beauchemin buried an empty-netter from deep in his own zone off a faceoff win to account for the final margin.
Both teams netted a power-play marker in the first, with Bonino opening the scoring at 10:24 when he re-directed Cam Fowler's blast past Howard.
Detroit answered under six minutes later after Ryan Getzlaf was called for tripping and Daniel Winnik took a hooking minor to give the visitors a 5-on-3.
The Red Wings failed to break through on the two-man advantage, but just after Getzlaf was released from the box, Kindl rifled a shot from just inside the left circle that deflected off Cleary and skipped past Hiller to knot the game at the 16:05 mark.
This is the sixth playoff meeting between the Red Wings and Ducks, who met five times in the postseason from 1997-2009. Detroit has won three of the five series and beat Anaheim in seven games when the clubs last met in the 2009 conference semifinals ... Selanne is the Ducks' all-time postseason scoring leader with 33 goals and 61 points in 78 career games. Getzlaf, who added an assist, ranks second with 18 goals and 36 assists in 63 games ... Detroit fell to 14-12 all-time against the Ducks in the postseason.