Anaheim had the best winning percentage in franchise history while claiming only its second Pacific Division title during the lockout-shortened season. The defeat also is a sadly familiar playoff disappointment for Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who never got the Washington Capitals past the second round after four standout regular seasons with his previous club.
The loss also could be the final NHL game for Teemu Selanne, the 42-year-old franchise scoring leader who flirts with retirement every summer. The Finnish Flash said he'll take his customary several weeks before deciding his future.
"It's very disappointing," Selanne said. "We had two chances to close the series, but couldn't. ... As a group, we have to learn something from this. The playoffs are so much fun. We were looking forward to going forward and enjoying this a whole lot more."
Selanne didn't score a goal in the series' final six games — but Corey Perry, the Ducks' former 50-goal scorer and NHL MVP, didn't score a goal in the entire series despite 24 shots.
"It's not something you think is going to happen," Perry said. "You get the job done throughout the year, but it just didn't seem to be there in this series."
The clubs alternated victories until the final two games of the series, with the Ducks taking three straight one-game leads before Detroit caught them. The Wings earned a third trip to California with an overtime win in Game 6 on Friday night — and they made it count with their fourth win in six appearances at Honda Center this season.
Detroit took the lead for good when Abdelkader stole Beauchemin's pass near the blue line during a power play late in the first period, beating Hiller on a breakaway for his first goal since returning from a two-game suspension.
Filppula put the Wings up 3-1 when he jumped on a loose puck and punched a backhand through Beauchemin's legs for his first goal of the postseason.
NOTES: Anaheim D Toni Lydman missed his fourth straight game since getting hit in the head by Abdelkader, who served a two-game suspension and returned for Game 6. ... The Red Wings scratched C Cory Emmerton for the first time in the series and activated RW Patrick Eaves, who sat out Game 6. D Carlo Colaiacovo stayed in the lineup for the second straight game. ... Anaheim's only previous Game 7 at Honda Center was in 1997, when the Ducks beat Phoenix for the franchise's first playoff series victory. Selanne was in his first full season with the club.