DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks in the opener of the Western Conference finals with two ugly goals that must have looked awfully good to them.
"We had traffic and it was a good goal," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Tomas Holmstrom scored with 4 minutes, 54 seconds 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 last night.
"That's a freak thing that happens and it happened to us," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said of the goal. "We'll move on."
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.
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 Lidstrom'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 the Ducks couldn't score.
Hasek made 31 saves and Giguere stopped 17 shots.
"Dom was outstanding," Babcock said. "Dom shut the door."
Game 2 is tomorrow night in Detroit before the series shifts to Anaheim.
While the Red Wings took advantage of their only power play in the opening period, Anaheim went 0 for 3.