ANAHEIM, California (Reuters) - The Anaheim Ducks ground out a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Six of their Western Conference finals on Tuesday, the win securing a Stanley Cup berth for the second time in four seasons.
Roared on by a crowd of 17,380 at the Honda Center, the Ducks captured the best-of-seven series by a 4-2 margin to set up a showdown against the Ottawa Senators, with Game One in Anaheim on May 28.
“I’ve been there once and we weren’t able to win it all,” Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere told reporters, referring to the 2003 finals loss to the New Jersey Devils in seven games.
“These occasions don’t come every year, so you’ve got to be able to take advantage of them.”
The Ducks took the lead 3:51 into the game when Chris Pronger’s slap-shot deflected off Rob Niedermayer’s left ankle for a shorthanded goal.
Anaheim added two more goals in the second period to build comfortable 3-0 advantage.
Corey Perry scored at 9:52 after Ryan Getzlaf picked up the rebound of Francois Beauchemin’s slap-shot and passed to the winger, who converted at the right post over goalie Dominik Hasek.
Getzlaf scored in similar fashion on a powerplay at 18:33.
Team mate Todd Marchant poked a loose puck in the crease to Getzlaf, who was skating uncontested toward the right post and deposited the puck over Hasek.
“They were very aggressive around the net,” Hasek said.
“They scored all their goals on rebounds and deflections.”
After Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg scored at 3:15 of the third period, Samuel Pahlsson restored the three-goal advantage by converting Rob Niedermayer’s rebound at 9:44.
Pahlsson’s goal proved pivotal because the Red Wings used two powerplay goals to narrow their deficit with 3:04 to play.
Pavel Datsyuk deflected Nicklas Lidstrom’s slap-shot at 10:08, 24 seconds after Marchant received a tripping penalty.
Then, nine seconds after Getzlaf was penalized for cross-checking, Datsyuk scored over Giguere’s left leg at 16:56.
“They started to control the puck and we didn’t skate,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.
“We stood still and just kept feeding them the puck. It’s kind of a paralysis that takes over your team.”
The Red Wings received another powerplay after Travis Moen took a hooking penalty at 17:08, but the Ducks defused it with 52 seconds to play and held on for the win.
Giguere finished with 26 saves, one more than Hasek.
“They were maybe one bounce away from beating us,” Carlyle said.
“We’re fortunate in a lot of ways, but we showed a tremendous amount of resilience and our guys worked extremely hard.”