Third Period Collapse Dooms Red Wings in 5-2 loss to Ducks

A pair of goals in the first two minutes of the third period put the Detroit Red Wings in a hole Friday night and they were unable to recover, dropping a 5-2 decision to the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

Andrew Cogliano scored at 1:02 of the final period to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead. Cogliano picked off a Niklas Kronwall pass in the neutral zone and gave the puck to Saku Koivu on the right wing. Koivu passed it back through Kronwall to Cogliano in the slot for a tip past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard for what would be the game-winning goal.

Just 38 seconds later, Bobby Ryan banged home the rebound of his own chance on an odd-man rush to put the Ducks up by a pair.

Cogliano closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal in the closing minutes, capitalizing when the Red Wings were unable to get through the neutral zone with the extra attacker.

After a scoreless first period, the Red Wings opened the scoring at 3:01 of the second. Defenseman Jakub Kindl got the puck in the high slot and fed rookie Joakim Andersson in the right circle to lift a shot over Anaheim goalie Viktor Fasth for his first career goal.

The Ducks countered 26 seconds later. Off a faceoff, Ryan Getzlaf gathered up the puck on the left wing boards and passed to Matt Beleskey all alone in the slot for a shot past Howard.

Rookie Tomas Tatar‘s second of the season put the Wings back in front at 6:32 of the period on a power play. Tatar picked up the rebound of a Damien Brunner chance from up high and skated it across the top of the crease, putting a shot into the open side of the net.

Again, the Ducks responded quickly, evening things up at 7:37. Wings defenseman Ian White held the puck behind the Detroit net as the team made a change but when he attempted to make an outlet pass, his stick snapped and the puck went straight to Beleskey. Beleskey sent it to Corey Perry, who got a couple chances from in close before knocking it past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 32 saves on 36 shots against. Fasth made 26 saves on 28 shots.

Detroit’s power play went one-for-four on the night with the penalty kill stopping all three Anaheim tries.

The Red Wings are back in action on Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Wild.

The Red Wings were without Pavel Datsyuk for the game, the latest injury to hit the team. With Datsyuk out, Gustav Nyquist was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Postgame: Ducks @ Red Wings – 2/15

Two thoughts following tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Ducks tonight…

#1 – The Ian White broken stick giveaway that turned into the Ducks’ second goal really does exemplify the Wings’ season to this point. Seems like things are under control, then some crazy thing you couldn’t have planned for comes up and everything falls apart with no one able to pull it all back together.

#2 – If that play didn’t exemplify the season, the game-winning goal would. Great tip by Cogliano, for sure, but that pass never should have gotten to him. Kronwall has to take away that passing lane, even if just by lying down. Brutal defensive play; an inability to do the simple thing that ended up burning them.

That’s all I’ve got.

Pregame: Ducks @ Red Wings – 2/15

Coming off a relatively awful outing against the St. Louis Blues (in which they still managed to claim a point), the Red Wings host a streaking Anaheim Ducks team tonight.

The Ducks are 7-2-1 in their last ten games, sit second in the Western Conference, and rookie starting goalie Viktor Fasth is unbeaten with a 1.74 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

The Red Wings, meanwhile, get more beat up by the day. Mikael Samuelsson will not be returning to the lineup tonight, as had been hoped earlier in the week, and an as-yet-unnamed other forward is possibly out tonight as well. Gustav Nyquist has been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to fill in, with the injured Todd Bertuzzi going on IR to make room.

Jimmy Howard gets the start for the Wings.

Random stat: Detroit is 17-15-1 all time on February 15. They last played on February 15 in 2009, a 6-5 shootout loss to Colorado.

Game time is 7:30 on FSD.