Nicklas Lidstrom scored his second goal of the game with 49.1 seconds left, lifting the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Ducks on Friday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series.
Lidstrom started the winning play behind his own net, skated up the ice, shot and scored off his rebound.
He scored a go-ahead goal for the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings in the second period after teammate and fellow Swede Johan Franzen tied it in the first following their first deficit of the playoffs.
Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne scored for the Ducks, who hoisted the Cup in 2007.
Game 2 is Sunday in Detroit.
Chris Osgood had 22 saves for the Red Wings, and Jonas Hiller stopped 34 shots for the Ducks.
Since the NHL expanded in 1967, the defending champion and the previous Cup winner have met in the playoffs three times. The others were in 1991 when the Edmonton Oilers played the Calgary Flames, and in 1971 when the Montreal Canadiens faced the Boston Bruins.
BRUINS 4, HURRICANES 1
In Boston, Marc Savard scored twice and Tim Thomas stopped 26 shots to lead Boston past Carolina in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Michael Ryder scored for the fourth game in a row, and David Krejci also scored for the top-seeded Bruins, who swept the Hurricanes during the regular season and on Friday night made it five in a row -- by a total score of 22-7.
Cam Ward made 20 saves, and Jussi Jokinen scored the lone goal for Carolina.
Game 2 is Sunday in Boston.
Thomas won his 11th consecutive game, including four straight in the first round against rival Montreal that was Boston's first playoff series victory since beating the Hurricanes in 1999.