Ducks vs. Red Wings Game 1: Teemu Selanne's vintage winner beats Detroit

USA TODAY Sports

Teemu Selanne is 42 but he turned back the clock Anaheim's series-opener against Detroit.

The Anaheim Ducks won a tight one over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1, with ageless star Teemu Selanne scoring a third-period game-winner in what finished as a 3-1 Ducks win.

The Ducks live by the power play, and that's how Selanne, age 42, scored 1:29 into the third period. Selanne broke a tie that had lasted since late in the first period, his quick release from the left-wing boards beating Jimmy Howard high before Howard had a chance to react.

It wasn't just Selanne's shot that was in playoff form, however. His legs looked like those of a man 20 years younger. The Ducks gave Selanne a few days off over the past week to rest up for the postseason, and in Game 1 that move appeared to pay off.

Jonas Hiller shut the door the rest of the way, making 11 of his 21 saves in the final period.

The teams had traded power-play goals in the first period, Nick Bonino opening scoring for the Ducks and Daniel Cleary scoring on a deflection just a few minutes later. After that, the game continued to be a tight-checking affair until it turned, as Ducks wins so often do, on their power play.

The second period saw no scoring, but a close call that could have ended very ugly: Corey Perry zipped through Howard's crease and as he jumped, his skate kicked Howard in the head. No cut, no damage, thankfully.

Valtteri Filppula really hindered the Red Wings' fading chance at a comeback when he took an offensive zone hooking penalty against David Steckel with just over four minutes remaining in regulation. That lost two minutes was costly, and though the Wings were killed the penalty they weren't able to regroup until coach Mike Babcock called a timeout with 1:08 left on the clock.

The timeout didn't work, nor did an artificial one created when a fan threw an octopus on the ice shortly thereafter. On the first post-octopus faceoff, the Ducks won the draw and set Francois Beauchemin up to seal the win with a 180-foot shot into the empty Detroit net.

Babcock, for his part, looked very disappointed in his team most of the night and said as much on NBC Sports Network's broadcast.

Before the game, we considered three questions. Now we have answers:

1. How will Bruce Boudreau manage his goaltenders?

Boudreau went with Jonas Hiller over rookie Viktor Fasth, and Hiller rewarded him with a great effort.

2. Will Detroit win Game 1?

The Wings' loss makes them the first road team to lose a game in the four meetings these two teams have had in 2013.

3. Will the Red Wings' playoff rookies have any impact in the outcome of Game 1?

No, and their stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg didn't either -- at least not on the scoresheet. Detroit's lone goal came on the power play, but not via their stars nor their rookies.

The Ducks now lead the series 1-0. Game 2 is Thursday in Anaheim.

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