For the second time in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with Anaheim, one of Detroit’s rookies provided the heroics to lift the Red Wings past the Ducks and into a series tie after four games.
Damien Brunner scored with 4:50 remaining in the overtime period on Monday night to give the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Ducks.
Joakim Andersson fed Gustav Nyquist – who scored Detroit’s overtime winner in Game Two – with a long outlet pass to start the play. Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller hesitated to come out of his crease with Nyquist not in full control of the puck as he crossed the blue line and by the time Hiller poked it away from the Swedish forward, it just deflected off of defenseman Bryan Allen and sat at the edge of the crease. Brunner swept in and banged home the rebound to finish the game.
Matt Beleskey had opened the game’s scoring at 5:07 of the first. Defenseman Brendan Smith lost the puck at the side of the Detroit net and Andrew Cogliano worked it out front to Beleskey. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard made a pair of stops from right on the doorstep but Beleskey put in his third chance to give the Ducks the 1-0 lead.
Smith would make up for his giveaway in the third period, as his blast from the blue line at 1:18 of the period deflected multiple times on its way past Hiller to tie the game, 1-1.
David Steckel put the Ducks back out in front with 9:20 remaining in regulation. Kyle Palmieri’s chance from the inside of the right faceoff circle was stopped but the puck flipped into the air and landed at the far side of the net. Steckel and Emerson Etem jumped on it, with Steckel poking it into the open side of the net.
An individual effort by Pavel Datsyuk 2:47 later tied things back up. Skating down the left wing, Datsyuk whipped a snap shot past Hiller and into the top of the net to make it 2-2.
No power play goals were scored on the night, with Anaheim getting three tries – including one in overtime – and Detroit getting one.
Howard stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced. Hiller made 46 saves on 49 Detroit chances.
Game Five will be in Anaheim on Wednesday.
With Justin Abdelkader suspended for two games for his hit on Toni Lydman in Game Three, Mikael Samuelsson played on the top line. Todd Bertuzzi took Samuelsson’s spot in the lineup.