Red Wings – Ducks Postgame Thoughts

Aside from the first five to ten minutes, this might have been the Red Wings’ strongest game of the season.

Their defense (again, aside from the start) was rock solid and Chris Osgood made the stops he had to.

It would have been nice to see more pucks behind Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Hiller but the shots were there and that’s a start.

Ken and Mickey mentioned it but the breakout passes started getting too cute late in the third. There were also a lot of wasted shots, so it’s not as though there aren’t still things to work on, but this was definitely a step forward if the Red Wings can build on it.

Red Wings – Ducks: More Random Babbling

I was going to recap the Wings-Ducks tilt from this afternoon but, especially with the way it ended, I decided I wanted to do something a bit more editorial.

Over at Abel to Yzerman, Bill’s got a piece posted called Screwed. It’s his opinion of what happened to the Wings on the potential game-tying goal late in the third.

I’m torn on agreeing or disagreeing with sentiment.

Part of me that says that on a day that saw Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik take a skate to the throat, arguing about a goal seems insignificant. We all remember Jiri Fischer here and when things like this happen, we’re all reminded that there are bigger things than the game itself in hockey.

That said, the events of a Buffalo-Florida game that hadn’t happened yet were not at the front of Wings fans minds this afternoon.

I spent most of the afternoon pretty upset, which is why I’ve kept my comments limited. I’ve tried to give myself time to calm down and gain perspective.

The non-goal at the end of the game is just the exclamation point on a game that was horribly-run from the beginning. It’s huge but it shouldn’t be the focus.

At 7:15 of the second, Chris Pronger was called for tripping Mikael Samuelsson and Sammy was called for diving. After the whistle, Chris Kunitz threw a couple punches at Samuelsson that went uncalled. In the ensuing four-on-four – which should have been a Detroit power play, whether by not calling the dive or by calling the roughing – the Ducks scored.

The officials spent the rest of the day trying to make up for that, calling cheap penalties on Anaheim that the Wings couldn’t capitalize on.

It made for an awful game. Wings fans will complain about the things that weren’t called, Ducks fans will complain about the things that were, and the national TV audience will have missed a chance to see a great game.

I don’t agree with calling extra penalties to “even things up.” It cheapens things. If the refs really cost a team a goal, they need to be able to own up and rectify it, but there’s no way to do that.

The funny thing is that the easiest way to even things up would have been to allow Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal to tie the game at 3-3 but that didn’t happen.

Do I believe that Tomas Holmstrom interfered with Jean-Sebastien Giguere‘s ability to make the save on that goal? No. From my replay, Giguere’s stick was impeded by Holmstrom’s leg only after the puck was in the net. Giguere couldn’t see the puck through Holmstrom’s screen and that wouldn’t have mattered if he was three more inches out. The video for that will go into my archive for if I ever start to archive these incidents.

Does that matter? Of course not. We’ll never hear what the Red Wings organization really thinks of that play. We’ll never hear what the NHL has to say about it. It’s done to them.

My thinking a few hours after the game? Forget about it. The whole game was a mess, might as well write it off and move on.

Red Wings Enter Break with 2-1 Win over Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings completed their three-game West Coast road trip undefeated Wednesday night, holding off a comeback by the Anaheim Ducks to earn a 2-1 win in their last game before the All-Star Break.

Detroit stood up to punishing physical play from the Ducks early and scored the first goal to get out to an important lead.

Thirteen penalties had already been called before Brian Rafalski scored with 8:08 left in the first period, including a pair of fighting majors when Chris Pronger and Dan Cleary dropped the gloves.

Rafalski’s goal came with the Red Wings on a five-on-three. His blast from the top of the left circle was deflected by Anaheim defenseman Scott Niedermayer past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and into the net.

Valtteri Filppula put the Red Wings up by a pair at 7:52 of the second period.

Francois Beauchemin broke his stick on a clearing attempt from the Anaheim zone. Filppula picked off the pass and was in alone on Beauchemin but waited for Tomas Kopecky to catch up, working the give-and-go with Kopecky to pull Giguere to one side of the net and put the puck in the open side.

The Ducks tried to mount a comeback in the third period, with Pronger scoring a power play goal on a blast from the point through a screen by former Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi at 8:05.

It wouldn’t be enough for Anaheim, as Dominik Hasek shut the door, including several key stops in the game’s final minutes.

Hasek finished the night with 24 saves on 25 shots. Giguere stopped 31 of 33 shots he faced.

Both teams went one-for-five on the power play.

The Red Wings were without Henrik Zetterberg for the second-straight game… Dan Cleary left the game with swelling around the eye after his fight with Chris Pronger.

Red Wings Eliminated: Comeback Falls Short as Ducks Advance

Three third-period goals by the Detroit Red Wings weren’t enough on Tuesday night. The Anaheim Ducks scored that many in the first two periods and added one more in the final frame to hold off a Detroit comeback and pick up a 4-3 win in game six of their Western Conference Final matchup, giving the Ducks a 4-2 series victory.

Anaheim will advance to face the Eastern Conference Champion Ottawa Senators.

Heading into the third period down by three, the Red Wings charged back, led by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

Zetterberg got Detroit on the board just 3:15 into the period, deflecting a pass from Chris Chelios past Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

After a Ducks goal by Samuel Pahlsson only 2:39 later, Datsyuk scored twice on the power play to pull the Red Wings to within one with 3:04 left to play.

With goalie Dominik Hasek on the bench for an extra attacker, the Wings were unable to get the tying goal past Giguere to force overtime, ending their season.

The Ducks controlled the first two periods of the game and opened the scoring only 3:51 in, when Rob Niedermayer tipped a shot from the blue line by Chris Pronger past Hasek for a shorthanded goal.

Chris Perry extended the Ducks’ lead at 9:52 of the second, putting the rebound of a Francois Beauchemin past a sprawling Hasek.

Ryan Getzlaf added a power play goal with 1:27 remaining in the middle period, also scoring with Hasek sprawled on his back.

The teams each took 29 shots. Anaheim outshot Detroit 26-13 in the first two periods but the Red Wings had a 16-3 margin in the third.

The Ducks scored once while shorthanded, once on a delayed penalty, and once on their four power play attempts. The Red Wings scored on two of seven power plays.

Ducks Take Series Lead with OT win over Red Wings

The Anaheim Ducks never led on Sunday but they didn’t need to. Teemu Selanne scored with 8:03 remaining in overtime to give the Ducks a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, pushing them to a 3-2 series lead in their Western Conference Final matchup.

Selanne’s goal came after Andy MacDonald forced a turnover by Detroit blueliner Andreas Lilja. Selanne picked up the loose puck and skated in alone on goalie Dominik Hasek, who sprawled out to cover the bottom half of the net before Selanne roofed a shot over him.

Lilja had scored Detroit’s only goal of the game at 6:13 of the second period, blasting a shot past Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere off a pass from Dan Cleary, who had circled back after gaining the Anaheim zone to allow Lilja time to catch up with the play.

The Ducks tied the game with only 48 seconds remaining in regulation. On the power play and with Giguere on the bench for an extra attacker, Scott Niedermayer wristed a shot from the inside edge of the left circle off of the stick of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and over Hasek’s shoulder.

It was the lone power play goal of the game. Anaheim had five chances with the extra skater while the Red Wings had seven.

Anaheim outshot Detroit 8-3 in the overtime period but the Red Wings totalled 37 shots to the Ducks’ 26.

Game six of the series will be on Tuesday from the Honda Center in Anaheim. If the Red Wings win, game seven will be on Thursday from Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

Blown Opportunities: Ducks Win as Red Wings Fail to Capitalize on Suspension, Power Plays

The Detroit Red Wings had a chance to take a 3-1 series lead over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night – and do so with Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger serving a one-game suspension for a high hit on Tomas Holmstrom in game three of their Western Conference Final matchup – but they failed on that opportunity, losing to the Ducks, 5-3.

En route to the loss, the Red Wings were unable to score on two long five-on-three chances, one in the second period and one in the third.

The Ducks got on the board just 1:37 into the game and would never trail.

After a failed outlet pass by Todd Bertuzzi, Corey Perry picked up the puck at the Detroit blue line. He stepped up to the top of the right circle and ripped a shot past Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

The Red Wings pulled even 1:52 later when Dan Cleary deflected a Chris Chelios pass in behind goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Richard Jackman, in the lineup for the suspended Pronger, put the Ducks back out in front with 8:14 remaining in the opening period, slapping the puck into the back of the net from the high slot on an Anaheim power play.

Teemu Selanne extended the Ducks’ lead with 1:29 remaining, whacking a bouncing puck past Hasek from in close.

The Red Wings would rally in the second.

Bertuzzi atoned for his earlier miscue with a power play goal at 7:48. Robert Lang carried the puck behind the net before throwing it out front to Bertuzzi, who banged it home from the top of the crease.

Cleary would add a second goal with 4:24 remaining in the middle period, another Detroit power play goal. Bertuzzi tried a bank shot from behind the net off of Giguere but the puck came free in front of the net. With the Anaheim netminder scrambling and sprawled on the ice, Cleary lifted a shot over him and into the net.

The Ducks would retake – and hold – the lead in the third period.

Ryan Getzlaf scored on a wrister from the top of the right circle to pull the Ducks ahead on a power play at 5:24 and Rob Niedermayer added an empty net goal with 1:08 remaining.

Both teams finished the night with two power play goals. Detroit had six chances with the extra attacker while Anaheim had five.

Hasek made 18 saves on 22 shots against. Giguere stopped 36 of Detroit’s 39 shots.

The Ducks’ win means the series will now go at least six games. Game five will be on Sunday afternoon in Detroit and game six will be Tuesday night in Anaheim.

Red Wings Regain Home Ice with Shutout of Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings regained home ice advantage in their Western Conference Final series with the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, picking up a 5-0 win to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

The Ducks had previously claimed a 4-3 overtime win in game two in Detroit, forcing the Wings to win at least one road game to get back the home ice advantage.

Anaheim pressured early, taking 14 shots in the first period, but the Red Wings’ defense and goaltender Dominik Hasek held them off the board. The Ducks were unable to convert on two penalties by Tomas Kopecky – in the Detroit lineup for the first time since breaking his collarbone in December.

Johan Franzen put the Red Wings on the board with 8:51 remaining in the period. Mikael Samuelsson carried the puck down the right wing while Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg went to the net. With the Anaheim defense focused on Zetterberg, Samuelsson sent a crossing pass to Franzen who deflected the puck into the open side of the net.

Zetterberg connected with Holmstrom on a similar play to give the Red Wings a two-goal lead with 43 seconds remaining in the period.

On a Detroit power play, Zetterberg gained the Anaheim zone down the left wing. Pavel Datsyuk cut through the high slot and drew the defenders, leaving Holmstrom wide open for a pass from Zetterberg in the right circle. Holmstrom stepped to the net and rifled a shot over the shoulder of goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Giguere would leave the game just 3:17 into the second period after Detroit’s third goal. Dan Cleary threw the puck at the net from the right wing and Giguere made the stop but the puck bounced off him, off the skate of Todd Bertuzzi cutting through the crease, and into the net.

Backup netminder Ilja Bryzgalov wouldn’t have much better luck, allowing a goal only 17 seconds after entering the game. Bryzgalov made a rolling stop on Valtteri Filppula‘s wraparound attempt but the puck came free and Holmstrom scored his second of the night, lifiting it in from the top of the crease.

The Ducks came unraveled and took five penalties to spend most of the rest of the period on the penalty kill.

One of the infractions was a two-on-one hit to the head of Holmstrom by Rob Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. Niedermayer was given a five minute roughing major and a game misconduct for the hit and Holmstrom missed the remainder of the period.

Holmstrom would return to the ice and to the scoresheet in the third period, assisting on the game’s final goal by sending a pass from the right wing through the top of the crease to Filppula on the far side of the net. Filppula tucked the puck in behind Bryzgalov with 9:02 remaining in the game.

Dominik Hasek stopped 29 Anaheim shots en route to his 13th career playoff shutout. Bryzgalov stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced while Giguere made 10 saves on 13 chances against.

Holmstrom’s first-period goal was Detroit’s lone power play tally on nine tries with the man-advantage. Anaheim had four chances with the extra skater, though one was for only 8 seconds at the end of the game.

Game four of the series will be Thursday in Anaheim.

Tomas Kopecky entered the Detroit lineup in place of Kyle Calder… The Ducks had not been shutout during the playoffs since April 27, 1999, when the Red Wings completed a first-round sweep of the then-Mighty Ducks with a 3-0 victory in Anaheim.

Ducks Win in OT to Even Series with Red Wings

Scott Niedermayer scored with 5:43 remaining in overtime Sunday night to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, tying their Western Conference Final matchup at one game apiece.

Niedermayer’s goal came when he put a shot from the right faceoff circle over the shoulder of Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

The Red Wings were leading by a goal until Travis Moen scored at 5:06 of the third period.

Moen put a rebound chance on Hasek, who sprawled out across the goalmouth. With the puck on top of his pads, Hasek was pushed across the goal line by Rob Niedermayer. After review, the goal was allowed.

Anaheim opened the scoring with 2:56 remaining in the first period, when Ryan Getzlaf went behind the net and sent a pass out front to Rob Niedermayer to bang into the goal, at the exact second a Ducks power play expired.

Detroit replied with a shorthanded goal by Kirk Maltby with 9:26 remaining in the second but Andy McDonald put the Ducks back out in front, scoring from the top of the crease as that power play expired.

Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the slot past Ducks’ netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere on a Detroit power play to even the game with 3:53 remaining in the middle frame.

The Red Wings converted on a five-on-three to take the lead just 1:03 into the third period, with Robert Lang passing the puck down low to Pavel Datsyuk to lift into the open side of the net.

Hasek made 29 saves on 33 shots against in net for Detroit. Giguere stopped 24 of 27 shots.

The Red Wings scored twice on their seven power play chances. Anaheim did not record a power play goal but scored twice as their chance with the extra attacker expired.

Game three of the series will be Tuesday night in Anaheim.

Red Wings Claim Game One Win over Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings scored two power play goals on bounces off Anaheim defenders, carrying them to a 2-1 win over the Ducks on Friday night in the first game of their Western Conference Final matchup.

Red Wings’ goaltender Dominik Hasek stopped 31 of 32 shots against to hold off the Ducks.

Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin put both Detroit goals in to the net.

With Detroit on a power play at 3:44 of the first period, Henrik Zetterberg threw a shot from an acute angle at the net. The puck redirected off of Beauchemin at the side of the crease and slipped past netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere to give the Red Wings the lead.

Tomas Holmstrom‘s game-winning tally with 4:54 remaining in regulation also went in off of Beauchemin.

On another Detroit power play, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the point that bounced off the body of Holmstrom and hit the ice, rolling towards the goal line. Beauchemin attempted to knock the puck away and ended up putting it into his own net.

Chris Kunitz scored Anaheim’s lone goal at 1:34 of the final period, a wrister from the top of the left circle.

The Ducks were held off the board on seven power play chances, including a long five-on-three in the first period and a four-on-three in the third. The two Detroit power play goals came on their four attempts with the extra skater.

Giguere stopped 17 of 19 shots against on the night.

Game two between the two teams will be at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena on Sunday night.

Power Plays Lead Ducks over Red Wings

The Anaheim Ducks scored three times on ten power play chances en route to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night.

The three power play goals all came in the second period.

After an apparent goal by Teemu Selanne was called back for the net being off its moorings, Ryan Getzlaf scored at 8:46.

Just 1:40 later, Shane O’Brien scored his first NHL to extend Anaheim’s lead.

Chris Kunitz was credited with Anaheim’s third goal of the middle frame, though he later said he thought he didn’t get his stick on the puck as it slipped through Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

Corey Perry scored the Ducks’ lone even-strength goal with 6:20 in regulation but the Red Wings answered with Tomas Kopecky‘s first career goal 44 seconds later.

Hasek finished the night with 27 saves on 31 shots against while Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 21 of 22 shots.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday in San Jose. Chris Osgood is expected to start in net for Detroit.