With one-third of their roster playing in their first Stanley Cup playoffs, the Red Wings accomplished Sunday what eluded them last season, when the great Nicklas Lidstrom still dominated their blue line: They won a playoff series.

They beat the Ducks 3-2 in the seventh game of a closely played series. Six games were won by a goal.

After an unusual season of transition for the most successful franchise in the NHL over the last two decades, the Red Wings won four playoff games compared to just one last season.

They had the 13th-best record in the league for the regular season. In the first round, they upset the team with the third-best record.

"As the series went on, our guys got a lot better," Mike Babcock said of his second seventh-seeded team to upset a second seed — he coached the Ducks when they upset the Red Wings in 2003.

"If you told me two months ago our team was going to make the playoffs, I wasn't sure. And now we've managed to give a good accounting of ourselves and move on."

They now have the most seventh-game victories in NHL history, 14, one more than the Montreal Canadiens.