ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are one win away from completing a mighty big upset.
Rookie Stanislav Chistov had a goal and an assist and Jean-Sebastien Giguere came within 6:16 of a shutout as the Ducks edged the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, to take a commanding three games to none lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
After finishing 15 points behind Detroit during the regular season, Anaheim has registered three straight one-goal wins to put the defending Stanley Cup champions on the brink of a stunning sweep.
"Four is the measure, not three," Ducks first-year coach Mike Babcock said. "It's always the toughest one to put someone away. They're proud, they're talented, they're veterans and they're not going to go away. We have to put them away."
"We lose, that's it," Red Wings left wing Brendan Shanahan said. "We're going to see what this team is made of. We're not going to quit. The next game will show a lot - what we're made of, individually and collectively."
Chistov set up Samuel Pahlsson's first career playoff goal 2:31 into the second period and banked in a shot early in the third to make it 2-0.
That was more than a big enough lead for Giguere, who made 36 saves and has stopped 133 of 137 shots in the series. He lost a bid for his first postseason shutout when Tomas Holmstrom scored on his own rebound during a power play.
But Giguere preserved the lead with 2:50 remaining when he stopped a point-blank shot by rookie Henrik Zetterberg, who sidestepped Paul Kariya and defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh on his way into the Ducks' zone.
"There was pressure in the third period," Giguere said. "That's when you learn the most and have some fun. ... I was able to see every puck out there and the defense kept the rebounds away. We've been very well-prepared, we've played as a team for 60 minutes."
Anaheim hosts Game Four on Wednesday, when it has a chance to advance to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time in its 10-year history.
"I'd be lying if I said I expected us to be in this position," admitted center Steve Rucchin, who has spent his entire nine-year career with the Ducks. "But I'm confident in our ability to play against them."
Detroit had an 11-10 edge in shots in a scoreless first period, but Pahlsson gave Anaheim the lead 2:31 into the second.
Off a turnover by rookie defenseman Dmitri Bykov, Pahlsson moved down the left side with defenseman Jason Woolley draped on his back. But the 25-year-old Swede snapped a wrist shot from the faceoff circle past the glove of goaltender Curtis Joseph and into the top right corner of the net.
"Chisty picked up the puck in center," Pahlsson said. "I tried to get it up high. It went up there."
Detroit appeared to tie it a minute later when defenseman Mathieu Dandenault beat Giguere with a blast from the top of the left circle. But the whistle blew a moment earlier as the Red Wings were penalized for having too many men on the ice.
Detroit was killing that penalty when Giguere used his glove to snag Shanahan's wrist shot from the left circle. He also squeezed his pads to stop Brett Hull's one-timer from the slot during a power play with 5:26 to go in the period.
"To know that you have a guy who has scored over 700 goals out there, you've just got to be mindful of him all the time," Ducks left wing Steve Thomas said. "Jiggy was just standing on his head for us."
Anaheim nearly doubled its lead in the final minute of the period when Kariya's wrister from the top of the slot deflected off two players in front of the net and hit the right goalpost.
The Ducks finally got the insurance goal 1:44 into the third when Joseph was caught out of his net and Chistov banked a shot off Zetterberg's skate and the inside of the goalie's pads.
"It was a miscommunication between myself and (Chris) Chelios," said Joseph, who made 24 saves. "I thought he was going to get it, he thought I was going to get it. At the last second, I had to try to go out and knock it by the guy, and he threw it outside. It went off something and it went in the net."
"Goaltending isn't a problem," Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said. "Cujo is an easy target, he's not the issue. There are other areas we need to focus on."
Detroit finally broke through when Holmstrom deflected a shot by defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, then backhanded the rebound by Giguere's glove.
"It was unfortunate," Babcock said. "The one goal they got, they deflected it going to the net. Giguere didn't get the rebound and we didn't get our stick there quick enough."