Game 5 - Ducks 2, Detroit 1 (1 OT)
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DETROIT - The Ducks are making a habit of pulling off dramatic overtime victories at Joe Louis Arena. And this one in Game 5 might ensure they don't have to come back.
Teemu Selanne scored the game-winner with 8:03 remaining in the first overtime to defeat the Red Wings 2-1 and give Anaheim a 3-games-to-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Niedermayer's goal with 47.3 seconds left was the Ducks' first of the game and forced overtime.
It was just the second shot of the game for Selanne (both in overtime) and came off an Andreas Lilja turnover in the Ducks zone. With just Selanne and Andy McDonald in the area for the Ducks, McDonald forced Lilja to lose the pick near the left faceoff circle. Selanne picked it up with just goalie Dominik Hasek to beat, and he made a nifty move to his backhand before flipping it under the crossbar and sending the water bottle flying.
"McDonald made a great play and I was really surprised to get the puck so open." Selanne said. "It was great to see that go in.
"Everything happened so quickly. Obviously, over the years, I've been practicing that move so many times and it just came to my mind. I knew I had to go upstairs because he goes down so often."
The goal was a rare show of offense for the Ducks, who had just 18 shots in regulation (against 34 for Detroit) and nothing on the scoreboard for more than 59 minutes. That was until Scott Niedermayer tied the score with just 47.3 seconds left in regulation and stunned the normally boisterous Detroit crowd.
Niedermayer received a feed from Selanne in the slot and took a shot that glanced off Nicklas Lidstrom's stick and flew over Hasek. The Ducks were skating 6 on 4 after a Pavel Datsyuk took an interference penalty at 18:13 and the Ducks emptied the net.
"There's a reason why he has won everything in hockey," Selanne said.
Chris Pronger got the second assist on the goal, back in the lineup after being suspended for Anaheim's 5-3 win Thursday. Pronger, to no one's surprise, was booed lustily every time he touched the puck.
That started in a scoreless first in which neither team allowed many decent scoring chances, Detroit broke the ice 6:13 into the second. Lilja scored his first career playoff goal with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that sailed over J.S. Giguere's glove. It also went over a sliding Ryan Getzlaf, who might have deflected it and slightly changed its direction.
That made it 1-0 Detroit, which remained the score at the end of the second, though it could have been much worse for Anaheim. The Ducks took four straight penalties following that goal, and gave Detroit 35 seconds of 5-on-3 time when Pronger and Sean O'Donnell took consecutive minors.
But the Ducks were able to keep the puck out of the net with the help of Giguere, who made several big saves. Giguere kept the Ducks in the game throughout, making 36 saves. He still has only given up one playoff overtime goal in his NHL life, in Game 2 of the conference semis against Vancouver.
Detroit had a chance to take a 2-0 lead 10:58 into the third period after Francois Beauchemin turned the puck over in the Ducks' zone. Giguere never saw Nicklas Lidstrom's shot from the blueline, but it hit the inside of the right post.
The Ducks can clinch a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win in Game 6 Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Pacific at Honda Center.
"It's a big win, but we have to move on," Selanne said. "We know that the biggest game is still coming."
11:57 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TEEMU SELANNE - Andy McDonald helps force Andreas Lilja into a turnover in the Ducks zone. Selanne picks up the puck with just Hasek to beat. He makes a smooth move to the backhand and roofs it, sending the water bottle flying. Another dramatic victory in this building for the Ducks.
11:07 - Pronger makes a drag move and takes a shot from the slot that Hasek swallows. Imagine if he got the goal in overtime.
11:00 - Brad May is playing his rear off right now. He takes a tough shot that Hasek saves.
9:53 - Huge penalty kill for Anaheim.
7:53 - ANA PENALTY - Travis Moen, 2 min. hooking. This crowd smells blood in the proverbial water.
7:19 - Another nice save by Giguere provides a slight rebound opportunity for Holmstrom, but the Ducks stop it.
6:17 - The Ducks ice the puck after another Giguere save.
5:54 - Still booing Pronger.
0:00 - We're underway in the first overtime, the second one of the series. The Ducks beat Detroit in overtime 4-3 in Game 2 here.
The Wings play the full video for "Jesus, Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood during the intermission. I don't know what that means.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Scott Niedermayer saves the day again and we're going to sudden death. The Ducks are being outshot by Detroit 34-18. We'll have a 20-minute overtime after the break.
19:12 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SCOTT NIEDERMAYER - With the Ducks net empty, Niedermayer takes a shot from the slot on a nice feed from Selanne and it hits Lidstrom's stick and flies over Hasek. It's 1-1 Ducks. Unbelievable.
18:40 - Hasek leaves the net open when he goes behind it and the puck hits the board and bounces in front. But the Ducks can't convert as Hasek returns in time.
18:13 - DET PENALTY - Pavel Dasyuk, 2 min. interference. Huge opportunity for the Ducks. Their net is empty.
17:41 - Ducks make a huge kill. Now they have to strike.
15:41 - ANA PENALTY - Joe Motzko, 2 min. holding.
14:16 - Giguere makes more nice saves on a Lidstrom shot and a Franzen rebound try. He's keeping the Ducks in this.
10:58 - Francois Beauchemin turns the puck over the Ducks zone and a Lidstrom shot from the point eludes Giguere but thanfully hits the post. The crowd initially thinks it's a goal until they see the official waving it off.
8:48 - Giguere comes out to the right corner to clear the puck, but it goes to Holmstrom, who nearly has an open net before Scott Niedermayer comes back to help.
6:16 - Giguere makes a couple of big saves, including a nice kick save on a Datsyuk shot from close.
5:52 - Detroit's on the power play.
4:32 - ANA PENALTY - Chris Pronger, 2 min, tripping. We're 4 on 4. Now they play "Loser" by Beck, with the lyrics "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me..." Classy as ever.
3:52 - DET PENALTY - Andreas Lilja, 2 min. holding. And the string is broken.
1:48 - Still booing Pronger.
0:58 - Samuel Pahlsson's shot from the slot sounded like it hit the post.
0:00 - Here we go.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks go down 1-0, but it could have been worse after that parade to the penalty box. The Ducks are being outshot by Detroit 26-11. They'll need to get one through in the third.
17:11 - Giguere makes a great save and hold on a Samuelsson shot from the point, despite a nice screen from Todd Bertuzzi.
15:40 - ANA PENALTY - Sean O'Donnell, 2 min. tripping. Detroit gets 35 seconds of 5 on 3 time. Four straight penalties for the Ducks.
14:16 - ANA PENALTY - Chris Pronger, 2 min. holding. Pronger is called for holding Zetterberg. The crowd seems happy about that. The song "Hate Me" by Blue October greets the penalty call. Classy.
11:44 - Hasek comes WAY out to put the puck back in play on the power play and hits Datsyuk at the blueline. The crowd rises in anticipation, but Datsyuk's shot sails over the goal and out of play.
Jimmy Kimmel appears on the video board again asking the fans if they're "ready to make some noise" and then keeps urging them on. I love the thought of him taping that in front of nobody but a camera man and saying things like "Come on, I can't hear you!"
10:06 - ANA PENALTY - Todd Marchant, 2 min. delay of game. Marchant throws it over the glass. And the deejay plays ... "Hit the Road Jack"? Seriously?
9:17 - As Scott Niedermayer pokes away the puck from the slot, Holmstrom almost knocks it in with his glove, but Giguere saves it.
7:56 - ANA PENALTY - Todd Marchant, 2 min. holding. The Joe Louis Arena deejay plays the oldie "Hold Me" by ... actually, I don't know who it's by.
6:13 - DETROIT GOAL - ANDREAS LILJA - Lilja snaps off a wrister from the top of the left circle that sails over Giguere's glove and just under the crossbar. It also went over a sliding Ryan Getzlaf, who may have deflected it slightly. It's Lilja's first career playoff goal and it's 1-0 Detroit. Dan Cleary gets the assist.
6:05 - Travis Moen is moved away from Hasek by a Detroit player who grabs his face to do it. Moen looks to the official for some type of call and gets nothing.
4:27 - With Pronger and Niedermayer both on the ice, Valterri Filppula almost gets a goal from point-blank range, but Giguere fends him off.
NBC shows some boyhood photos of the Niedermayer brothers. For a bigger collection of those photos, check out the current edition of Ducks Digest!
Two fans sitting in front of us trade jerseys, Zetterberg for Chelios. Not sure why. Maybe they had some agreement to switch them every period.
0:00 - We're underway in the second stanza.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Zeroes on the board, as the Ducks are outshot by Detroit 11-8.
"A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis comes on the stadium PA. It's always a catchy tune. No, seriously. We're getting better here in Game 5. The "Friends" theme isn't likely to make an appearance. But "This is Our Country" reared its ugly head again. What a shame.
18:54 - DET PENALTY - Johan Franzen, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks get another shot at it.
18:54 - The puck is loose again in front of Hasek, but he covers it, followed by more pushing and ... wait for it ... shoving.
18:45 - Travis Moen takes a shot from Chris Chelios near the Detroit blueline.
18:27 - The Wings kill the power play with nothing resembling an Anaheim scoring chance.
16:27 - ANA and DET PENALTIES - ANA Corey Perry, 2 min. roughing and DET Tomas Kopecky and Kris Draper, 2 min. roughing. Perry and Brad May have the audacity to poke at a loose puck under Hasek and are attacked by about four Red Wings. The Ducks skate 5 on 4.
13:49 - Another near scoring change brings another Giguere save, this one followed by some scrapping between the red team and the white team. No penalties. In fact, no Anaheim penalties in this game so far.
13:30 - A scramble in front nearly results in a goal, but Giguere holds tough.
11:05 - A fan right under the press box frustratingly yells "COME ON" at the top of his lungs as Anaheim controls the puck behind the net for what seems like a half hour.
The second TV timeout comes soon after the first one. The girls who clean up the ice here in Detroit wear a lot more clothes than those at Honda Center.
During the timeout, you can actually feel the breeze from the fans waving their white towels.
8:53 - Corey Perry takes a slap shot from the right circle that was reminiscent of his first goal in Game 4. But this one Hasek saves.
8:30 - Pronger takes the second of two straight hard one-timers that miss the net.
2:37 - Pronger touches the puck at the point and is met by a round of boos. Won't be the last time today, but we'll see if they can keep it up all game long.
2:13 - DET PENALTY - Brett Lebda, 2 min. holding the stick. First power play for the Ducks, who finally got a goal on the man advantage (by Ryan Getzlaf) in the third period in Game 4.
2:00 - A Detroit slap shot is mis-hit and takes a weird hop on Giguere, who almost has trouble saving it.
0:00 - And the puck hits the ice for Game 5 in front of a loud Joe Louis Arena crowd.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA J.S. Giguere; DET Dominik Hasek
Scratches: ANA Sebastien Caron, Mark Hartigan, Chris Kunitz, George Parros, Drew Miller, Joe DiPenta, Aaron Rome, Ryan Shannon, Shawn Thornton; DET Kyle Calder, Jiri Hudler
Rookie Ryan Carter is again in the lineup for the Ducks, as it Joe Motzko, making his first appearance of the playoffs.
Noon (PDT) at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.
TV: NBC Radio: AM 830
The Ducks overcame a major challenge in winning Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals over the Red Wings last Thursday at Honda Center. Anaheim was forced to play without defenseman Chris Pronger, suspended a game for a hit delivered to Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3.
With Pronger back for Game 5, the test hardly gets any easier.
Getzlaf had the winner in Game 4, after which Selanne said "he could become the best player in this league someday."
The Ducks hope they can ride the momentum of their last victory. "Well, obviously it was a huge boost," said Teemu Selanne of Game 4. "I'm really expecting that this is going to carry over in the next game, too, you know."
Selanne also had plenty of good things to say for Game 4 hero Ryan Getzlaf, who had the power play goal in the third period that gave the Ducks the lead for good. It tied him for the NHL playoff lead with three game-winning goals. "I'm expecting he could become the best player in this league someday," Selanne said.
In 14 playoff games, Getzlaf is second on the Ducks with seven assists and 11 points.
"You know, he's not going to only be a star, he's going to be a superstar," Selanne said. "I don't think this guy knows how good he is. I know he can be even better. It's unbelievable things what he can do on a daily basis. I'm very lucky to see him every day. I told before that I haven't seen better hands in anybody in my career than this guy."
But Getzlaf and the rest of the Ducks know they have their work cut out for them this afternoon, and that includes limiting Detroit's chances on the power play. The Red Wings have seven power play goals in 26 chances in this series.
Today's game marks the third straight series where the Red Wings have come home tied 2-2. In the previous two, against Calgary and then San Jose, they won handily. But that trend doesn't concern Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle.
"I don't look at the statistics behind what the other team has done previously," Carlyle said. "We focus on our game. We have to play the best game we can possibly play [this] afternoon. Because the next one is the most important one.
"And whatever happens [this] afternoon, the one after that will become the next important one."
That next one will be Game 6, Tuesday at Honda Center at 6 p.m. Pacific.