Uwe Krupp finally returned to the lineup in a solid defensive debut, and Luc Robitaille broke a goal slump with the Red Wings’ only goal, as the Wings and Mighty Ducks skated to a 1-1 tie.
Neither team was able to score in the choppy first period, in spite of two power play chances for each team. Anaheim goaltender Steve Shields was injured midway through the period when Tomas Holmstrom was shoved into his net, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere came out to replace him.
The Ducks opened the scoring early in the second period, during a holding penalty to Uwe Krupp carried over from the end of the first. Paul Kariya fired a shot on net from a very tight angle. Dominik Hasek was able to block the shot, but the rebound came loose to Jeff Friesen, who tapped it into the net on his backhand.
The Red Wings tied up the game midway through the second. Holmstrom passed from behind the Anaheim net to Luc Robitaille waiting in front of the goal line on the right wing side. Robitaille wristed a shot low between Giguere’s legs to score his thirtieth goal of the season, breaking an eleven-game goal slump.
Anaheim came on strong in the beginning of the third period, but Hasek was up for the challenge and did not allow the Ducks to score again. However, because of the Ducks’ defensive style of blocking up center ice, neither were the Red Wings able to put the puck past Giguere again.
Krupp took a hooking penalty early in the overtime, giving Anaheim a four-on-three advantage. The Wings’ penalty killing unit stayed organized and kept the Ducks away from the front of the net, and Hasek was able to block the shots that did get through.
Hasek stopped twenty-nine of thirty shots during the game. Shields blocked five of five before his injury, and Giguere stopped seventeen of the eighteen he faced. The Red Wings will play next on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Steve Yzerman traveled out west with the team, but will probably not play. Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk were both left home to rest and recover from minor bumps and bruises. Brett Hull and Sergei Fedorov, with 29 goals apiece, are both poised and waiting to join Brendan Shanahan and Luc Robitaille as the team’s 30+ goal scorers. Robitaille’s goal makes this his twelfth consecutive 30+ goal season.