By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – As hot as the Ducks have been at home, it wasn’t enough to take down the league’s best team, as Detroit edged Anaheim 2-1 at Honda Center on Wednesday night. The loss broke a string of seven in a row at home for the Ducks, and was the 10th road win in the last 11 for Detroit.
Anaheim cut a 2-0 lead in half with a Chris Pronger power play goal 8:05 into the final period, but that was all the Ducks would generate against veteran goalie Dominik Hasek, who had 24 saves.
|Pronger, checking Tomas Holmstrom here, had the Ducks' only goal, a power play strike in the third.
Pronger’s marker came off a ripped one-timer from the point off a Getzlaf pass, as Todd Bertuzzi screened Hasek in front. The assist gave Getzlaf points in 15 straight games, second all time in Ducks history (tied with Teemu Selanne’s streak in 1996). The Ducks had precious few opportunities to tie it, despite skating 6 on 5 in the final 1:15 after pulling Jean-Sebastien Giguere from the net.
The Ducks and Wings combined for 14 penalties in a chippy first period, including fighting majors for Chris Pronger and Dan Cleary, who exchanged several punches behind the Ducks net 6:54 into the game.
At one point, the Ducks had five players in the penalty box, thanks to the Pronger major and various minors from Corey Perry, Doug Weight, Todd Bertuzzi and Todd Marchant.
Detroit capitalized from the resulting 5 on 3 with 8:08 left in the first, as Brian Rafalski fired a slap shot from the point that got through Giguere thanks to a screen in front by big Tomas Holstrom.
"It was a big game and emotions run high," said Ducks forward Rob Niedermayer. "We definitely have to control that a lot better, especially early on. You can’t get behind the eight ball right away. We gave them a few power plays early and they got momentum from that."
The physical play continued into the second, including a fight between Sean O’Donnell and Aaron Downey with 59 seconds left. Before that, Detroit took a 2-0 lead at 7:52 after a costly turnover by Francois Beauchemin, who broke his stick trying to make a pass out of the Ducks zone. Valteri Filppula intercepted the puck at the red line, then flipped a backhand pass to Tomas Kopecky, who gave it back to Filppula for the one-timer.
"I tried to make a pass and the shaft broke in half," Beauchemin said. "They usually break in the blades, but tonight I had two in three shifts that broke the shafts. There’s nothing I can do. I break maybe five or six sticks all year long and tonight I had two. It’s usually Prongs on a one-timer shot, but tonight it was my turn."
Giguere had 31 saves in the losing effort. Detroit pushed its NHL-best record to 37-10-4, while Anaheim fell to 27-19-6 and remained second in the Pacific Division.
Detroit’s run on the road included a 3-0 win last night at Los Angeles and a 6-3 victory in San Jose on Saturday night. Their win over the Ducks was payback for a 6-3 beating Anaheim gave the Wings in their last meeting, Oct. 15 at Honda Center. The Ducks had been the only Western Conference team to beat Detroit by more than two goals this season. The Red Wings still have won just two of the past seven games in Anaheim. The Ducks dispatched the Wings in six games in last year's Western Conference Final on the way to winning the Stanley Cup.
"Since we played them in the playoffs last year, they knew our plan and maybe they wanted to respond," Beauchemin said. "It’s always tough games against them. I don’t think it’s every going to change. We had a couple of bad bounces, one broken stick, one 5-on-3 goal, other than that I don’t think we gave up much."
Detroit was without leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg and his 28 goals. Zetterberg sat out his second straight game with a faulty back.
The Ducks won’t have a chance to bounce back at home for more than three weeks, as they play their next nine on the road, starting with a bout with the Kings in L.A. tomorrow night.
"It’s a challenge to play the elite teams and Detroit’s an elite team," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "They’re the best team in the league this year. They didn’t sneak into this building and not know who they were. These are the type of games it’s going to take and we’re going to have to win our share of these to continue to have success."
20:00 - The puck skids into the corner off the draw and Detroit controls it as time runs out. It's 2-1 Red Wings, breaking Anaheim's seven-game winning streak at home.
19:56 - On the 6 on 5, the Ducks keep it in the Detroit zone, with a couple of shots on net, but generate nothing before the Wings ice it with 3.1 remaining. Timeout Ducks.
18:45 - Giguere heads to the bench.
16:45 - The Ducks have a couple of pokes at the puck near the Detroit net, but nothing gets through.
16:30 - Bertuzzi gets some open ice in the right circle, but waits too long to get the shot off and it's blocked before it gets to net.
15:36 - Coming out of the last timeout, it's desperation time for Anaheim.
15:36 - With the Ducks deep in the Detroit zone, the net is suspiciously knocked off its moorings by a Detroit player. No call.
10:40 - Draper gets off a shot in the slot as he's falling, but Giguere is there.
8:05 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - Off a Getzlaf pass, Pronger rockets a slap shot that hits nothing but the back of the net, aided by a screen by Bertuzzi, who was just cruising in front of Hasek as the puck flew by. It's a point in 15 straight games for Getzlaf, and Bertuzzi gets the second assist.
7:35 - DET Penalty - Valtteri Filppula, 2 min. holding. The Ducks need one here.
7:10 - Rob Niedermayer gets some space on the rush and takes a backhand shot that Hasek saves, and he stops the Moen rebound try despite lying on his side.
6:50 - Huskins loses his stick behind the net and Ledba appears to flip it away with his own stick before Huskins can pick it up. No call.
4:13 - Hudler takes a hard shot from the right circle, but Giguere corrals it.
3:38 - ANA Penalty - Rob Niedermayer, 2 min. hooking. Ducks in danger.
1:23 - Detroit gets a big kill.
0:00 - The Ducks start the period on the power play.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's another physical period with one Detroit goal, this time from Filppula at 7:52, The Ducks are outshot 13-8 in the period, but will have 1:23 of power play time when they come back.
19:22 - DET Penalty - Nicklas Lidstrom, 2 min. holding. Lidstrom holds onto Ryan Carter
in the Wings zone.
19:01 - Sean O'Donnell and Aaron Downey get into it in the corner, exchanging several punches before Downey drags O'Donnell down by the jersey. It's 5 for both.
18:30 - In a space of 20 seconds, Hasek slams his stick on the ice several times for no apparent reason, then screams at the official when his stick gets knocked away. He's a piece of work, that guy.
17:27 - Moen tries to go hard to the net to punch in a rebound. Too hard, in fact, as he knocks the net off.
13:55 - Matt Ellis gets the puck in a nice spot, but his wrister is blocked by Giguere.
11:45 - ANA Penalty - Doug Weight, 2 min. high sticking. Weight gets Samuelsson with the stick.
Lots of Detroit fans in here. It's the same thing with Buffalo. A bunch of people growing up in an undesirable city, relocating to a desirable one but still holding on to their sports allegiances. Not to mention the fact the Wings are the Yankees of the NHL. Huge fan base all over the country.
8:03 - ANA Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. holding.
7:52 - DETROIT GOAL - VALTERRI FILPPULA - Francois Beauchemin tries to pass the puck from the Ducks zone, but breaks his stick. The puck goes right to Filppula, who goes around a stickless Beauchemin and flips a backhand pass to Tomas Kopecky on the 2 on 1 . Kopecky quickly gives it back to Filpulla, who deposits the puck into the top left corner.
7:26 - Datsyuk makes a great move around Scott Niedermayer of all people, but his shot from the slot is stopped by Giguere in perfect position.
It's Carl's Jr. Trivia time and they ask the weird-looking kid wearing a pink spiky-haired wig which year the Ducks sent three to the All-Star Game. Given three choices, he correctly guesses 1997. The bonus question is: Who is the only Duck to win All-Star Game MVP and he guesses ... wait for it ... Rob Niedermayer. He actually receives some well-deserved boos. It's Teemu Selanne, by the way.
4:48 -Giguere makes three big saves on Detroit scoring chances.
3:27 - Scott Niedermayer takes a rare hard slapshot that Hasek comes out high to snag.
2:08 - Bochenski makes a great backhand pass to a charging Weight, who gathers and takes a shot at Hasek who stops it.
0:00 - Off we go in the second.
20:00 - After 14 combined penalties and 40 minutes, the period mercifully ends. The Wings get one on the power play to take a 1-0 lead into the break.
18:35 - Weight tries a wraparound and Hasek makes the pad save.
NHRA driver and reputed "hot" female athlete Ashley Force, making an appearance tonight, is shown on the video board. Hmm, not as hot in person.
17:05 - In a retribution move, Moen slams Aaron Downey into the wall and holds the hit a bit. He looks like he wants to go with Downey, but the official steps in just before both players go to their benches.
15:16 - Draper pops out of the box and gets a headman pass on the breakaway, but his wrist shot is high and knocked away by the Giguere glove.
13:52 - As Hudler takes his time getting rid of the puck, Getzlaf drills him into the area where the glass starts near the Ducks bench.
13:10 - DET Penalty - Kris Draper, 2 min. cross checking. Now the Ducks go on the power play.
11:52 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BRIAN RAFALSKI - On the 5 on 3, Rafalski rips a slap shot from the left point that eludes Giguere with Tomas Holmstrom screening in front. It looked like Holmstrom might have tipped it with his leg, but they give it to Rafalski initially.
10:53 - Datsyuk looks to have a chance, but misses on a backhand one on one against Giguere.
10:29 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. trippingMarchant takes down Filppula as he's streaking toward the net. FIVE DUCKS IN THE BOX.
10:15 - ANA Penalty - Todd Bertuzzi, 2 min. slashing. The are four Ducks in the box right now. The attendant had to get up off the bench to make room.
9:40 - ANA Penalties - Doug Weight and Corey Perry
, 2 min. roughing and DET Penalties - Brett Lebda ad Jiri Hudler, 2 min. roughing. More pushing and shoving near the Detroit net, involving among others, Perry, Weight, Hudler and Lebda. This one could be physical tonight. You think?
8:38 - Bochenski makes a nice play from the corner, looking like he's going to make a pass, then spinning and trying to stuff it past Hasek. But the old goalie is ready for it.
7:26 - Kris Draper, 2 min. hooking.
6:54 - After a hard hit near the boards, Chris Pronger and Dan Cleary push and shove behind the Ducks net, then after a few seconds drop the gloves with the puck on the other side of the ice. The 6-6 Pronger throws several uppercuts and hooks and takes a few shots to the head. He's thrown to the ground by the 6-0 Cleary, who keeps throwing blows, but Pronger springs back up and starts throwing more punches. A few seconds later, he takes Cleary to the ice and throws a couple of punches in his back with Cleary flat. You don't see Pronger drop them too often, but this was a good one. They both get 5, much to the delight of the Honda Center faithful.
Something's wrong. The Honda Center deejay is actually playing a song recorded in the past year, "Let's See How Far We've Come" by the reunited Matchbox Twenty.
5:40 - After an unsuccessful Hasek clear, Beauchemin has tons of room in the slot, but his long-awaited shot is knocked away by Hasek's glove.
5:14 - ANA Penalty - Todd Bertuzzi, 2 min. roughing and 2 min. goaltender interference and DET Penalty - Johan Franzen, 2 min. cross checking. After a Schneider slap shot, Bertuzzi falls right on top of Hasek. Johan Franzen responds with two hard cross-checks to Bertuzzi's back. Bertuzzi stands up and takes Franzen down with a perfectly executed two-arm tackle.
4:38 - DET Penalty - Tomas Kopecky, 2 min. tripping. Kopecky takes down Beauchemin behind the net.
3:50 - Valterri Filppula looks like he has a wide open chance behind the net as Giguere is out of position, but instead of trying the wraparound, he tries a pass to the top of the crease and Moen is there to sweep it out of there.
0:09 - Right off the draw, the Ducks steal the puck in the Detroit zone, and it's tapped back to Getzlaf in the slot, whose shot bounces off Hasek.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Starting Goalies: ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; DET Dominik Hasek
Starting Skaters: ANA Todd Bertuzzi, Corey Perry
, Ryan Getzlaf
, Mathieu Schneider, Chris Pronger; DET Nicklas Lidstrom, Dan Cleary, Brian Rafalski, Mikael Samuelsson, Johan Franzen
Scratches: ANA George Parros
, Joe DiPenta; DET Derek Meech, Dallas Drake, Henrik Zetterberg