Darren McCarty summed it up like this: “It disrupts the flow, because some guys don’t get into the game. We had to kill eight penalties, which is nearly a whole period on the PK. But the real story of the game was Giguere. He won the game for them.” Aided by 39 saves from goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks brought the Red Wings’ eight game winning streak to an end with a 4-1 game.
The penalties against Detroit started early in the game and kept right on going through the first period. Ironically, the penalty-killing units did a fine job, and the Ducks never did score a power play goal. Their two goals in the first period were both during the short bits of time at even strength, in-between the five Detroit penalties.
Steve Rucchin opened the scoring 5:23 into the game. He whacked at it twice at the left corner of the net before he was shoved behind the net and out of the way. Unfortunately, the puck went behind with him, and he was able to stuff it in the right side of the net before Curtis Joseph could slide across to stop him.
Stanislav Chistov increased the Ducks’ lead. The rebound from Samuel Pahlsson‘s shot was not knocked out of the way after Joseph made the save. Chistov was trailing the play and he was able to push the puck in past Joseph.
The Red Wings had a number of shorthanded scoring chances, most notably a breakaway by Sergei Fedorov. Brendan Shanahan made the pass that sent Fedorov flying up the ice with t he puck, but Giguere was alert and ready. “I just wanted to be aggressive on that guy,” he explained. “He’s got a good shot, so you don’t want to give him any room to shoot the puck and pick the corners on you. You’ve got to force him to deke, and once he starts making his move, you’ve got to be patient and wait until the last possible second.”
Detroit took their sixth penalty of the game, a phantom slashing call against Boyd Devereaux, early in the second period. (Devereaux had used his stick to lift the stick of Paul Kariya and keep him from picking up a pass.) Again, the Red Wings generated more scoring chances on this penalty than the Ducks did. Unfortunately, Kurt Sauer scored his first NHL goal shortly after the penalty expired to increase the lead to 3-0. Sauer and Pahlsson rushed the puck into the zone. Sauer one-timed a wrist shot from Pahlsson’s pass. The puck deflected off the outstretched stick of Henrik Zetterberg and into the net over Joseph.
The Red Wings got their only two power plays of the game late in the second, but luck was not with them, and the Ducks were able to get a shorthanded goal on their second penalty. Marc Chouinard made a pass through center ice to Pahlsson, who went in all alone against Joseph. Pahlsson faked a shot to the right to lure Joseph over, then backhanded a shot in on the left.
Manny Legace came out to start the third period for Detroit, but by then, Anaheim was content to sit back and play a defensive game. Legace only had to make five saves in his twenty minutes of playing time.
Brett Hull ruined Giguere’s shutout bid midway through the third. Pavel Datsyuk stole the puck from an Anaheim player trying to clear the zone. Datsyuk sent it to Zetterberg, who passed across the goal crease to Hull. Hull put it in high over Giguere.
The goal (and the relative lack of penalty-killing in the third period) seemed to revive the Red Wings, and they began to pressure the Ducks more efficiently than they had been doing, but they simply ran out of time.
The final count of shots on net was 40 to 28 for Detroit. The Red Wings play their next game Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
Steve Yzerman was kept out of this game to rest his knee, but he is likely to play tomorrow night in Los Angeles…. Hull’s goal was the 708th of his career, tying him with Mike Gartner for fifth leading scorer of all time.