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Ducks Top Red Wings To Reach Cup Finals

Updated:
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ The Anaheim Ducks are going to the Stanley Cup finals against the Ottawa Senators after beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in Game 6 of the NHL Western Conference finals. The finals start Monday in Anaheim.

The Ducks relaxed their ``10-minute rule'' that allows them to enjoy a win for just that brief span before concentrating on what's up next. ``It's not something that happens every year,'' goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said Tuesday night after the Ducks won.

``So we need to enjoy it until the end of the night tonight and then we need to move on, focus on Ottawa.''

Said the Ducks' Teemu Selanne: ``Yes, I think we'll take a little more time to enjoy this, but then we know we'll really have to get back to work. The games will get harder now.''

The Ducks, who lost Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup finals to New Jersey, take on the surprising Senators in the NHL championship round beginning Monday in Anaheim.

``I've been there (to the finals) once and we weren't able to win it all,'' said Giguere, the MVP of those 2003 playoffs. ``So these occasions don't come every year. You have to try to take advantage of it.''

Giguere, one of only four players from that team who are still with Anaheim, played a big role in getting the Ducks to their second Stanley Cup finals since they came into the league in 1993.

He shut out Detroit for the first two periods as Anaheim built a 3-0 lead, then withstood a three-goal outburst by the Red Wings in the closing period of Game 6.

Samuel Pahlsson's goal with 14:06 remaining proved to be the difference for the Ducks.

Rob Niedermayer, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf also scored against Dominik Hasek as the Ducks took the conference crown 4-2.

Giguere, who finished with 26 saves, insisted he wasn't responsible for the victory.

``We have almost 25 guys on our lineup, so you need all these guys to win,'' he said. ``And it's always the better group that's going to get out of it, not the better goalie, and I truly believe in that.''

The 42-year-old Hasek, who had 25 saves, wasn't so sure about that.

A six-time winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie during the regular season, Hasek gave Giguere more credit than the Anaheim goalie gave himself.

``He played great. I hate to say he played better than me, but maybe he did,'' Hasek said. ``He stole Game 5, and that was the key to the series.

``You have to be a little bit lucky, and he was. He won the series for that team.''

Hasek said wants to return next season, ``But I want to talk to my wife and to the family and make a final decision in the next two or three weeks as to what is the best thing for my future and my family's future.

``I don't want to make that decision right after the last game of the season. All I can say is that I love this game and I have a passion for this game.''

Giguere had made 36 saves in each of the previous two games. He kept the Ducks in Game 5 until Scott Niedermayer tied it with 48 seconds left and Teemu Selanne scored the game-winner in the 2-1 overtime victory.

The Red Wings outshot the Ducks 16-3 in the third period this time and got one goal from Henrik Zetterberg and two _ both on power plays _ from Pavel Datsyuk, the last with 3:04 remaining.

``They took the attitude that this was desperation and they started to control the puck,'' Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. ``Our counteraction was that we didn't skate. We stood still, and we just kept feeding them the puck.

``It's kind of like a paralysis that takes over your team.''

Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who was the Ducks' coach when they played in the Cup finals in 2003, gave them credit.

``Games 4 and 5 where we played at every opportunity to win and let them slip away, that in the end cost us. You have to tip your hat to Anaheim,'' Babcock said.

``They've got a good team and they found a way to get it done, and they are going to play a good Ottawa team.''

Beside Giguere, the other Ducks who were on the 2003 finals team are Rob Niedermayer, who had a goal and an assist in the clincher over Detroit; Andy McDonald and Pahlsson.

The team also dropped the ``Mighty'' from their name after Henry and Susan Samueli bought the franchise from The Walt Disney Co. in June 2005.

Two of Detroit's third-period goals against Giguere came on deflections, including Datsyuk's score with 9:52 left.

The Ducks scored once against Hasek on a deflection, and the other three on rebounds.

The second game of the Cup finals will be in Anaheim on Wednesday, May 30, then the series shifts to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4 on June 2 and June 4.
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