Detroit dominated the play in the first two periods. Robitaille’s historic goal was scored on a power play opportunity. 7:32 into the game, Anaheim’s Niclas Havelid was sent to the penalty box for holding. Brendan Shanahan shot the puck from the blue line, and Robitaille was on hand to tip it past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
A fight broke out a few minutes later. Some Anaheim players took offense to Chris Chelios‘s hit on Paul Kariya, but Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan were on hand to help their teammate. Shanahan fought his opponent, Dan Bylsma, down to the ice, and both were given five-minute major penalties for fighting. Shanahan currently leads the NHL in penalty minutes.
Thorughout the first two periods, Detroit had 22 shots on goal. The Ducks were only able to generate 11 shots against Dominik Hasek, in spite of two power play chances late in the second.
The Ducks kicked up their play for the third period. Hasek showed himself equal to the task, demonstrating his acrobatic skills on a rolling save to block a shot from Paul Kariya and a rebound shot from Patrick Kjellberg.
Chelios got into another fight near the end of the period. Kirk Maltby had dropped to the ice to block a shot, and an Anaheim player tried to whack the puck out from under him. Chelios came to stick up for his teammate, and he and Mike Leclerc were given offsetting two-minute penalties for roughing.
Anaheim pulled Giguere for the extra skater with 1:23 left to play, but the Ducks were unable to score.
Darren McCarty rejoined the “Grind Line”, playing in his first game since sustaining a knee injury against the Islanders on October 13. Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom sat out, with injuries to hip and wrist, respectively. Brent Gilchrist, whose eye was injured by a high stick in Wednesday’s game against the Coyotes, also sat out, but Wings trainer John Wharton said the eye was not seriously damaged, and Gilchrist should be fine soon.
Hasek’s shutout was the fifty-seventh of his career, putting him within one of overtaking the Dallas Stars’ Ed Belfour for the lead in shutouts among active goaltenders. Robitaille is only the thirteenth player in NHL history to score 600 goals. He and teammates Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull make the Red Wings the first team in history to have three 600-goal-scorers.
The Red Wings will finish up their West Coast road trip Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.