By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – In a Ducks season marked by dramatic come-from-behind moments – including two in this series with Detroit – Anaheim didn’t quite have enough left in a disheartening defeat in Game 7.
Trailing by two goals for most of the third period, Anaheim got within one with a power play strike with just over three minutes left, but couldn’t get the tying goal in a 3-2 defeat to the Red Wings.
Detroit had previously won all of its games in this tightly contested series in overtime, but took this one simply by grabbing an early lead and holding off Anaheim the rest of the way.
“It’s very disappointing," said Teemu Selanne, who may or may not have played his last game tonight. "We had two chances to close the series, but we couldn’t. The goal was to try and play the best game of the series in this Game 7 and we couldn’t do it. That’s very disappointing. They played well. Credit to those guys, but it’s still very disappointing we couldn’t play our best game tonight.”
It was the first Game 7 at Honda Center since April 29, 1997 vs. Phoenix (a 3-0 Ducks win), and it packed the expected intensity in the early going. But the Ducks’ failed ability to claw back when Detroit went up 3-1 in the second period took much of the life out of the building.
The home fans came alive when Francois Beauchemin scored a power-play goal with 3:17 left in the game following a Henrik Zetterberg delay of game penalty. Beauchemin’s pass into the crease from the right corner hit the skate of Jonathan Ericsson and snuck over the stripe.
But Anaheim’s furious attempts to get the tying goal – including two stints with goalie Jonas Hiller on the bench for an extra attacker – proved fruitless before the final horn.
"Both teams worked pretty hard and I thought we played good enough to hang in there," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "We didn’t play good enough to take over the hockey game. That’s the difference of the game. They scored some timely goals at the start of that game. When you have that two-goal cushion, it feels good out there.”
Of the Ducks' 30 wins this regular season (which vaulted them to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference), 15 came in come-from-behind fashion. They did it two more times in the postseason. In Game 2 they erased a three-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime, and two nights ago in Game 5 they did the same after being down two goals late in regulation. This time, however -- in a do-or-die scenario in Game 7 -- it was not to be.
Detroit got on the board early in this one, as Zetterberg cashed in just 1:49 after the opening faceoff. A Valtteri Filppula shot from the right circle rebounded off Hiller, and Zetterberg was there to punch it in.
“I think we came out with a little bit of nerves," Getzlaf said. "Everyone here was up for the game and everyone was excited to play. We’ve got a lot of guys who haven’t been in that situation and some of the guys that have, didn’t do a good enough job. We’ve got to be able to calm down a little bit when it comes to those situations, and control the puck a little bit better."
Anaheim tied it with 6:12 left in the period when Emerson Etem tried to dump the puck, but it pinballed back to him, and he unleashed a wrist shot from the left wing circle that found the net.
Detroit retook the lead about three minutes later on a crushing shorthanded goal by Justin Abdelkader. Beauchemin turned the puck over trying to make a pass near the blue line to partner Sheldon Souray, and Abdelkader sprinted down on the breakaway before sending the puck past Hiller.
Detroit made it a 3-1 game with the only goal of the second period, as the puck was knocked away from Daniel Cleary toward Filppula, who backhanded it past a late-to-react Hiller.
Hiller had 29 saves in the game, while Howard was very solid with 31 stops at the other end.
"We have to learn something from this," Selanne said. "I think we deserved better than this, but that’s hockey. You never know. The playoffs are so much fun and very disappointing to be out of it right now, the first round. We were looking forward to going further and enjoying this more. That’s why it’s so tough. It’s too late now."
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks can't get the tying goal, and the game -- and the season -- is over.
19:21 - Franzen picks off a Hiller pass, but his teammate is offside.
19:00 - Getzlaf ices it with exactly a minute left. Hiller has to come back on for the faceoff.
18:45 - Hiller off.
18:00 - Detroit offside with 2:00 left.
17:30 - Ducks with new life.
16:43 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN - On the power play, Beauchemin tries to send the puck into the crese, and it hits Ericsson's skate and sneaks over the stripe. Crowd back in it as it's 3-2.
16:14 - DET Penalty - Henrik Zetterberg, 2 min. delay of game. Ducks with a chance.
14:10 - Hiller with a stop on a Filppula one-timer to at least keep it 3-1.
10:18 - Ducks not getting a lot going as we're past the 10-minute mark in the period.
6:44 - Etem speeds down right wing and tries to backhand from a bad angle, but no.
4:36 - Getzlaf winds and fires a one-timer, but misses the mark.
3:37 - Hiller pins the puck down near the post before a crowd converges on him.
1:31 - Selanne out of the box.
0:00 - We're 4-on-4 as we start the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Anaheim's chance to pull within 1 on the power play vanishes, and it's 3-1 Detroit.
19:31 - Just after a Howard save on Beleskey, Eaves cross checks Selanne, Teemu retaliates and in the scrum, Ryan goes flying. Selanne to the box alone.
18:30 - DET Penalty - Kyle Quincey, 2 min. slashing. Quincey takes down a hard-working Bonino just to the left of the Detroit net.
17:11 - Hiller with a stop on Datsyuk to keep this a two-goal game.
16:30 - Ducks give the home crowd hope with a 2-on-1 with Selanne and Beleskey, but the Red Wings D denies.
14:57 - Howard goes sprawling into his own net away from the play, but no delay is called as the official flatly determines that an Anaheim player caused it.
13:45 - DETROIT GOAL - VALTTERI FILPPULA - The puck is knocked away from Cleary toward Filppula, who instantly backhands it past a surprised Hiller to make it 3-1 Detroit.
10:01 - Detroit plays a little tic-tac-toe on the rush, but it ends with a Hiller save on Cleary.
9:28 - Hiller snatches a Datsyuk shot with the glove.
7:55 - Getzlaf hits Perry in stride near the blue line, and his shot from the right wing is stopped by Howard.
6:18 - ANA Penalty - Luca Sbisa and DET Penalty - Johan Franzen, 2 min. each roughing. Some shenanigans after the whistle behind the Anaheim net.
5:59 - Hiller with a couple of stops on a Red Wings rush.
3:40 - Ducks almost get one when Beleskey's shot is tipped in front by Selanne, but Howard is ready.
3:00 - Detroit controls play initially in this period.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Wings score, Ducks even it, Wings get a shorty to take a 2-1 lead.
19:34 - Fowler keeps the puck alive and gets it to Lovejoy, whose slap shot is gloved by Howard in a crowd.
16:37 - DETROIT GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - JUSTIN ABDELKADER - Beauchemin's pass attempt is knocked down by Abdelkader, who is off to the races with Beauchemin and Souray chasing. He dekes to the forehand before sending it past Hiller for the shorty. It's 2-1 Detroit.
15:06 - Getzlaf appears primed to punch in a rebound, but doesn't get enough on it, as it's underneath Howard, though he doesn't realize it right away. Missed chance for 15.
14:44 - DET Penalty - Kyle Quincey, 2 min. cross checking. Cogliano skates his way into a huge chance, but it's blocked by either Howard or Smith. Then Winnik is cross checked down from behind by Quincey and needs some help from the trainer. Winnik slowly skates to the bench as Quincey heads to the bin.
13:48 - ANAHEIM GOAL - EMERSON ETEM - Etem tries to get rid of the puck, but it pinballs right back to him, so he glides toward the left wing circle and unleashes a wrist shot that beats Howard. We're tied 1-1. Hiller with his first assists of the series.
13:38 - Wings kill it.
11:38 - DET Penalty - Daniel Cleary, 2 min. boarding. Cleary throws Steckel into the wall, and Anaheim will get its first power play.
9:40 - Just after Cogliano escapes from the box, Steckel tries a slap shot that Howard blockers away.
7:29 - ANA Penalty - Andrew Cogliano, 2 min. high sticking. Cogliano gets Ericsson up high in the corner.
6:30 - Red Wings controlling play for the most part and outshooting Ducks, 8-3.
5:20 - Ryan and Kronwall with a pretty fierce collision near center ice.
3:00 - Selanne gets into it with Kronwall away from the puck and Kronwall gets the better of it.
1:49 - DETROIT GOAL - HENRIK ZETTERBERG - Detroit strikes early, as a Filppula shot from the right circle hits Hiller and rebounds in front, and Zetterberg is there to chip is inside the left post. It's 1-0.
0:50 - Getzlaf with Selanne and Bonino, second out.
0:00 - And we're underway in Game 7.
Boudreau throws out a line of Ryan, Bonino and Perry to start.
Starters in bold/italics.
|DETROIT RED WINGS||ANAHEIM DUCKS|