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Ducks hold on and earn Cup finals

Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Samuel Pahlsson celebrate Anaheim's entry into the Stanley Cup finals. Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Samuel Pahlsson celebrate Anaheim's entry into the Stanley Cup finals. (MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS)

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jiggy and the Anaheim Ducks held off the Detroit Red Wings to earn a second trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere 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 to take a 4-3 victory last night.

Samuel Pahlsson's goal with 14:06 remaining proved to be the difference for Anaheim, which meets Ottawa in the Stanley Cup finals.

Rob Niedermayer, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf also scored against Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek as the Ducks downed the Red Wings to take the Western Conference finals, 4-2.

The Ducks and Senators, both looking for their first NHL championship, open Monday night in Anaheim.

Giguere finished with 26 saves. Hasek had 25.

The Ducks goalie afterward expressed his respect for the 42-year-old Hasek.

"Doing what he does at his age, you know it's not easy. I won't be there when I'm his age, for sure. But I really see it as the Ducks beat the Red Wings. It's not about the goalies," Giguere said.

"In fact there were a lot of goals [15 given up by each goalie] in this series.

"We have almost 25 guys in our lineup. So you need all these guys to win. 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."

Hasek, a six-time winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie during the regular season, didn't necessarily agree.

"[Giguere] 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 he would decide in a few weeks whether he'll be back next season.

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

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.