Game 2 - Ducks 4, Detroit 3 (1 OT)
Rob Niedermayer had the Ducks' first goal and assisted on brother Scott's game-winner.
Her sons Scott and Rob Niedermayer teamed to give the Ducks an overtime victory for the second time in three games. This one came over Detroit in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals to give the Ducks a 4-3 victory and even the series at a game apiece.
Just like Game 5 against Vancouver, Scott Niedermayer scored the game-winner in the first extra session, this time giving the Ducks a hard-earned decision over the Red Wings. Scott's wrist shot followed a feed from Rob, and it traveled past a screen from both teammate Travis Moen and Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios to get through goalie Dominik Hasek. The goal came with 5:43 remaining in the first overtime.
"It definitely feels good to win this game," Scott Niedermayer said. "It's a pretty big win for us, obviously. We just kept battling and kept fighting."
Said Rob, "It certainly is nice to chip in offensively. This is a big thrill for me, for sure. Watching Scott score that goal was pretty special. I just tried to chip it to him and he made a great shot."
Scott and Rob also combined to give the Ducks an overtime victory in their series-clinching Game 5 against Vancouver in the last round. Rob's hit on Vancouver's Jannik Hansen knocked the puck loose, setting up Scott's game-winner. His 12 career overtime goals (including two now in the playoffs) are the most by a defenseman in NHL history.
After a series opener that was a battle of the stifling Anaheim and Detroit defenses, Game 2 was a virtual shootout by comparison. Niedermayer's clinching goal was one of seven combined by the Ducks and Red Wings.
Detroit won Game 1 of the series 2-1 despite attempting only 19 shots on goal.
In this one the Ducks went up 1-0 after the first 20 minutes, a lead that could have been much greater. Anaheim continued a trend from Game 1 in outshooting Detroit 11-6 and Ryan Getzlaf had two shot attempts clang off goalposts. Less than two minutes into the game he made a great breakaway move on Hasek, but sent it off the left bar. Twelve minutes later, his bad-angle shot from the left corner slipped through Hasek but hit the inside of the right post.
Unable to find the net himself, Getzlaf instead found a way to set up the first Ducks goal. Looking like he might cross behind the net with the puck, Getzlaf instead slid it to a wide open Rob Niedermayer in the crease. Niedermayer's one-timer was his second goal of the playoffs.
That goal came exactly two minutes after a Detroit penalty, so it didn't count as a power play goal. Coincidentally, the Ducks second goal of the night also came precisely as a Detroit penalty expired. This one came courtesy of Andy McDonald with 11:40 left in the second period, his fifth of the postseason. Nicklas Lidstrom stole the puck from a charging Corey Perry in the corner, but accidentally tapped it off Hasek. McDonald was right there to bat the loose puck under Hasek's right leg and barely over the stripe. It didn't initially look like a goal, though the Ducks close to the play seemed to know it was. An extensive replay review confirmed it, a decision that was met by a round of boos from the Joe Louis Arena crowd.
McDonald's strike came a little over a minute after Detroit tied the score 1-1 on a shorthanded tally by Kirk Maltby. His wrist shot from the slot bounced off Giguere's chest and Maltby followed it up himself.
With 3:53 left in the second, Game 1 hero Nicklas Lidstrom struck again to make it 2-2. Lidstrom received a cross-ice pass from Dan Cleary and smartly held it long enough for traffic to clear and allow his wrister to cruise inside the left post.
The Wings took their first lead of the game at 3-2 just 1:03 into the third period. With Detroit on the power play from a Sean O'Donnell roughing minor committed near the end of the second, Pavel Datsyuk one-timed a Robert Lang pass into an open right side of the net.
But Anaheim knotted it back up on another goal that needed a replay to count. Travis Moen took a shot off the faceoff that ticked off Lidstrom and handcuffed Hasek. It was clinging to his thigh as he fell backward over the line.
And after five goals combined in under 15 minutes between the second and third, neither team found the net in the final 14:54 of regulation. That required the fourth overtime in the Ducks' last six games, of which they have won the last three in a row.
J.S. Giguere continued to shine in sudden death, and has still given up just one overtime goal in his career.
"It was one of those games that could have gone either way," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We feel very fortunate to win it."
The series swings into Anaheim with Game 3 Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Pacific.
14:17 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SCOTT NIEDERMAYER - Rob Niedermayer retrieves the puck in the corner and slips it to brother Scott. His wrist shot travels through a screen by teammate Travis Moen and Detroit's Chris Chelios and goes through Hasek. Ducks win it 4-3 and even the series 1-1.
12:38 - Giguere goes to his knees to block a Valterri Filppula shot, and it pops in the air before he gloves it.
10:50 - Detroit kills.
9:48 - Anaheim calls timeout.
8:50 - DET PENALTY - Mikael Samuelsson, 2 min. delay of game. Samuelsson accidentally sends it over the glass.
This crowd sings along with the arena music like pumped up bar patrons in front of a live band at 1 in the morning. It's impressive.
6:32 - Dustin Penner makes a centering pass that is nearly redirected into the net by a Detroit player, but Hasek saves.
3:50 - Johan Franzen takes a pass right in front and almost sends it in. Giguere makes a great stop with the left leg.
0:54 - Datsyuk takes a shot from the slot that gets by Giguere and barely misses the right post.
0:00 - We're underway in sudden death.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks' last-ditch effort to score results in a small scrum around the net. Rob Niedermayer gets a roughing minor and Detroit's Chris Chelios gets 2 for cross checking. We're going to overtime. It's the Ducks' fourth overtime in the last six games. Rob 19:58 - A long Chris Chelios shot with the clock winding down turns into a Detroit icing call. The Ducks get a faceoff in the Detroit zone with 2.0 left.
19:12 - A helmetless Tomas Holstrom turns the puck over to Corey Perry at the Detroit blueline. Perry takes a shot that hits of Hasek and then the board, Perry gets the rebound and shoots it again for another Hasek save.
15:27 - Hasek has a little trouble with a Pronger shot from the right point, but eventually covers it.
"I Wanna Rock" by Twisted Sister plays and the crowd loves it.
During the timeout, Jimmy Kimmel appears on the video screen in a Red Wings jersey and ski cap, rooting the Wings fans on. Doesn't he live in Southern California?
9:57 - Giguere makes several big saves on the penalty kill, the last a glove save on a Brett Lebda shot.
8:07 - ANA PENALTY - Ryan Shannon, 2 min. tripping.
5:06 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TRAVIS MOEN - Moen takes a shot off the faceoff that ricochets off Lidstrom and handcuffs Hasek. It's still rolling on his thigh as he falls backwards over the line. Another long replay review determines that Hasek carried the puck with him over the line and didn't control it. We're tied 3-3.
4:24 - A Detroit slap shot from the blueline is nicely saved and held by Giguere at the top of the crease.
1:03 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - PAVEL DATSYUK - Robert Lang makes a great pass from the left corner through the crease, and Datsyuk is all alone to one-time it into the open net. It's 3-2 Detroit.
0:00 - Just as we get underway for the third, it's announced that Shawn Thornton has a "lower body injury" and his return it questionable.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A wild second period finally comes to a close. Detroit puts two on the board thanks to Maltby and Lidstrom, but the Ducks also get one from McDonald. The Ducks are outshot for the first time in the series 9-5.
19:33 - ANA PENALTY - Sean O'Donnell, 2 min. roughing. O'Donnell gets a little frisky after the whistle and will spent parts of this period and the net in the box.
19:20 - Tomas Holmstrom nearly scores from the crease after the puck hits the back board and comes right to him, but he misses the open net.
19:09 - ANA PENALTY - Chris Pronger, 2 min. holding. Brett Ledbda comes shooting out of the penalty box and receives a nice Kirk Maltby pass to set up a breakaway. Pronger clearly holds Lebda from behind. It's close to a penalty shot situation.
16:07 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - NICKLAS LIDSTROM - Lidstrom receives a cross-ice pass from Dan Cleary and smartly holds the puck for a second while traffic clears in front of the net. He then sends a wrister past Giguere and just inside the left post.
14:05 - ANA PENALTY - Rob Niedermayer, 2 min. high sticking. The normally pacifistic Sammy Pahlsson gives Mikael Samuelsson a shove after the whistle.
12:26 - DET PENALTY - Dan Cleary, 2 min. cross checking. The Ducks go on their third power play. That last goal was officially even strength, so they are 0-3 on the PP.
11:40 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ANDY MCDONALD - Lidstrom steals the puck from Corey Perry in the corner, but accidentally taps it into the crease and off Hasek. McDonald bats the loose puck under Hasek's right leg pad and barely over the stripe. Extensive replay review finally determines it was indeed a goal. The crowd boos lustily when the goal is signaled. It's McDonald's fifth of the playoffs. It's 2-1 Ducks.
10:34 - DETROIT GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - KIRK MALTBY - Maltby fires a wrist shot from the slot that bounces off Giguere's chest, and Maltby artfully follows it up himself. Nicklas Lidstrom gets an assist for setting up Maltby's first shot.
9:40 - DET PENALTY - Andreas Lilja, 2 min. roughing. Lilja gives Selanne a shot to the head against the boards and gets caught. Ducks are 0-1 on the power play.
7:48 - Giguere makes a great stick save on a whiffed attempt at a one-timer by a Detroit forward, though he was caught out of position.
6:50 - The Ducks kill the penalty without a single Red Wings shot on goal. A good sign for Anaheim.
4:50 - ANA PENALTY - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. holding. After the delayed penalty is whistled, the Ducks and Red Wings get into it a bit in the corner behind the Ducks goal. No further penalties are issued.
4:28 - Rob Niedermayer makes a nice cross-ice pass to Samuel Pahlsson, whose ensuing wrister is stopped and held nicely by Hasek.
4:08 - Giguere makes a nice sliding pad save on a blueline one-timer from Brett Lebda.
"Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones.
0:00 - The puck drops for the second.
Just when you think you can get away from that annoying John Mellencamp "This Is Our Country" song, they play it at Joe Louis during the intermission for a Chevy ad on the video screen. It's not enough that you hear that song every other minute during a televised sporting event. Now it even follows you into the arena.
20:00 - The horn sounds for the end of the 1st and this crowd is noticeably subdued. The Ducks outshoot Detroit again, this time 11-6. Ryan Getzlaf hits two posts, but manages to contribute with a nice feed to Rob Niedermayer for the only goal of the period. We'll be back in 17 minutes.
17:04 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - Corey Perry takes the puck in the corner and drops it to Getzlaf who feeds Niedermayer in the crease for the easy one-timer. Getzlaf can't seem to find the goal, so he contributes with a great feed instead. It's 1-0 Ducks.
The arena DJ plays the theme song from "Friends" to pump up the crowd. Another interesting choice.
15:04 - DET PENALTY - Kris Draper, 2 min. tripping. First power play of the night for the Ducks. They were 0 for 7 in Game 1.
13:59 - Getzlaf steals the puck in the Detroit zone and takes a bad-angle shot from the left corner that gets through Hasek but heartbreakingly clangs off the inside of the right post.
12:05 - ANA and DET PENALTIES - ANA Shawn Thornton, 2 min. cross checking and DET Dan Cleary, 2 min. cross checking. Thornton gets into it a bit with Cleary after a J.S. Giguere save. We'll go 4 on 4 for two minutes.
6:31 - ANA PENALTY - Chris Pronger, 2 min. interference. Second power play for the Red Wings. They scored twice on the PP in Game 2.
1:56 - Ryan Getzlaf takes the puck on a breakaway with the Ducks shorthanded, makes a great move on Hasek and his backhand attempt hits the left post squarely. Second post for Getzlaf in two games.
0:23 - ANA PENALTY - Todd Marchant, 2 min. tripping. Marchant gets the start and quickly commits a minor.
0:00 - And we're underway in Game 2 after another octopus hit the ice during the anthem.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA J.S. Giguere; DET Dominik Hasek
Scratches: ANA Sebastien Caron, Ric Jackman, Mark Hartigan, Chris Kunitz, Joe Motzko; DET James Howard, Josh Langfeld, Mathieu Schneider, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronvall
Chris Kunitz will not play tonight. He is out with what is being called an "upper body" injury. Todd Marchant will take his spot on the first line with Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald.
4:30 p.m. (PDT) at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.
TV: Versus Radio: AM 830
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The Ducks did a lot of things right in their 2-1 loss in Game 1 of this Western Conference Finals series in Detroit. In Game 2, they'll be looking to score more goals.
The Ducks only lost once in each of the first two rounds of these playoffs, against Minnesota and Vancouver. A second loss tonight in this round would put them in a serious hole heading back to Anaheim. For the Ducks to bounce back, they have to generate more chances against the stingy Detroit defense.
"As far as the offense, I don't think there is an explanation other than the fact that the teams are playing strong of defensive hockey," said Carlyle. "I think power plays and penalty killing are at the forefront of playoff series. I don't think this one's any different."
Anaheim's loss in Game 1 continued a trend of struggles for the Ducks in Joe Louis Arena. They lost both regular season games this year in the Red Wings building and are 2-21-3 there all time during the regular season. They did win two games at The Joe during a Western Conference Finals sweep in 2003.
"The playoffs are a whole other level," Carlyle said. "I think the ice surface in both buildings will be played equally. These games will be highly competitive in this building, and they'll be highly competitive in our building."
Said the Ducks' Teemu Selanne, "I don't think there's one explanation. We just haven't been very good here. But you know, I remember some games during the regular season, too. The 1-0 game (March 26), I think we played a pretty good game. We had a chance to win, but we didn't."
That was also the case in Game 1 here, as Anaheim outshot the Red Wings 32-19, and even Detroit coach Mike Babock admitted "they were better than us" with both teams at even strength. But it was on the power play where the Ducks didn't score in seven chances and the Red Wings found the net twice. Although, both goals weren't exactly textbook, as the Ducks were the victims of some tough bounces.
"A lot of times in playoffs, those are the type of things that happen," Carlyle said. "They got two what you'd classify ugly goals, but both pucks went over the line and that's all it takes."
The Ducks will need to send more pucks over that line in Detroit's end to even the series tonight.
"It's Game 2 of a seven?game series," Carlyle said Sunday morning. "We have to play our best hockey game to date. We might have to play the best game we've played all year."
Game 3 swings to Honda Center on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Pacific.