The Detroit Red Wings took an early 2-0 lead on power play goals and held off a surging Mighty Ducks of Anaheim team to hold on for a 3-2 win. It was the first meeting between the Wings and Ducks since head coach Mike Babcock left Anaheim for Detroit.
Pavel Datsyuk opened the scoring with a power play goal 4:37 into the game. Jason Woolley grabbed the puck at the blue line and sent it down to Datsyuk in the left circle, who fired a shot over the shoulder of Anaheim goalie Ilja Bryzgalov.
Robert Lang put Detroit up by two with the Red Wings’ second power play goal, scoring through a screen from the left circle at 9:56.
The Ducks struck back with 2:31 remaining in the opening period. Teemu Selanne got a pass from Scott Neidermayer in the low slot and one-timed the puck past Detroit netminder Manny Legace.
After a scoreless second period, the Wings’ power play struck again in the third. Mikael Samuelsson scored his sixth goal in eight games at 4:55, tipping a shot by Jason Woolley past Bryzgalov from the low slot.
At 7:58, Ryan Getzlaf pulled the Ducks back within one, firing a shot from the point that deflected off Dan Cleary’s stick and over Legace’s glove.
In the closing minutes, the Ducks couldn’t control the puck to get a chance at tying the game and the Wings held on for the victory.
Legace finished the game with 23 saves on 25 shots while Bryzgalov made 36 stops on 39 shots.
The Detroit power play went 3-for-8. Anaheim went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
The Red Wings will be back in action Saturday night for the first of two straight games in Columbus.
With Kris Draper injured and the Grand Rapids Griffins on a road trip, the Red Wings dressed seven defensemen rather than call up a 12th forward. Draper could return on Saturday.