The Detroit Red Wings held off a late charge by the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday for a 3-2 win in Game Seven of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup. With the win, the Wings advance to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Detroit took a two-goal lead into the game’s final period and, unlike earlier games in the series where they gave up two- and three-goal leads, made it stand up.
With 3:17 remaining in regulation and the Ducks on a power play, Francois Beauchemin threw the puck towards the net from the right-wing corner. It deflected off defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and rolled past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to cut the Red Wings’ lead to just a goal.
Detroit would hold on, however.
Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring just 1:49 into the first. Valtteri Filppula put a shot on Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller from the top of the left faceoff circle. Hiller made the stop through a screen but the puck came out to Zetterberg in the slot to throw back past Hiller to make it 1-0.
With 6:12 remaining in the opening period, Emerson Etem tied things back up. Etem took an outlet pass from Beauchemin and gained the Detroit zone down the right wing, then cut over into the slot and snapped a shot past Howard, making it 1-1.
With the Ducks buzzing and on a power play, Detroit’s Justin changed the game’s momentum with 3:23 left in the period, breaking up a pass at the Red Wings’ blue line and driving in all along on Hiller, getting him to move and sliding a shot between his pads to restore his team’s lead.
Valtteri Filppula scored the eventual game-winner with 6:15 remaining in the second period, golfing a backhander past Hiller from the left faceoff circle off a scrambled play.
Howard finished the night with 31 saves on 33 shots. Hiller made 29 stops on 32 chances.
Detroit did not score on either of their two power play tries, while the Ducks tallied once on four chances with the man-advantage.
The Red Wings’ Western Conference Semifinal series with the Blackhawks is expected to begin on Wednesday.