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Lidstrom carries Wings past Ducks

DETROIT Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom scored the game-winning goal with 50 seconds remaining as the Stanley Cup champions edged the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Friday in the first game of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Lidstrom followed up his own shot and slid in behind obscured goaltender Jonas Hiller to score his second goal of the game.

"I thought it was a tight game through the entire 60 minutes," Lidstrom said. "You could tell it was playoff hockey out there, both teams were giving their all. There's a lot of intensity out there and both teams want to win."

Detroit had not played since April 23 after sweeping the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round.

In the day's other NHL game, Marc Savard scored twice and Tim Thomas stopped 26 shots to lead the Boston Bruins past the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.

In Detroit, Hiller made 34 saves for the Ducks, who took an early 1-0 advantage on a goal from Corey Perry at 7:28 in the first.

Johan Franzen tied it on a powerplay five minutes later before Lidstrom's second period slapshot edged Detroit ahead.

Teemu Selanne leveled the game at 2-2 with 17 seconds left in the second period, before Lidstrom had the final say in the last minute.

In a physical encounter between the past two Stanley Cup champions, Anaheim winger Mike Brown was ejected in the first period after a hit on Detroit's Jiri Hudler, who had to be helped from the ice with a bloody head wound.

"The league has to decide (what to do about the hit)," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. "I think the league and the player's association is very quick to protect a player's head. To me, it's a vicious dirty hit."

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle disagreed. "I'm sure (they) are going to say it was dirty, but this is a game where physical contact is allowed. He hit him with his shoulder. That's not a dirty hit in hockey."


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