By Adam Brady (email@example.com)
ANAHEIM – Thirty-five seconds was all it took for the good vibes to be drained out of the Anaheim Ducks.
That’s the length of time it took the Detroit Red Wings to score two goals to turn a 3-2 Anaheim lead into a 4-3 deficit that carried to the finish in a crushing Ducks defeat in front of the fourth straight sellout at Honda Center.
|Two Detroit goals in 35 seconds spoiled a hard-fought lead the Ducks carried into the third.
"I think our boys played pretty well for the most part throughout that game," said Ryan Getzlaf, who had a hand in all three Ducks goals. "We had a few mental breakdowns and they cost us goals. You play a good hockey team like that and that happens. We were right in that hockey game all night long. If it wasn’t for a few bounces, it could have been a different outcome."
Detroit’s Dan Cleary and Johan Franzen found the net with back-to-back strikes to take a one-goal lead midway through the period, and Anaheim couldn’t muster a reply down the stretch.
Cleary took advantage of a Scott Niedermayer turnover in the corner of the Ducks zone, eluding the Anaheim defenseman to send a wrist shot off the post and in.
While that goal was being announced to the mixed crowd of 17,525, Johan Franzen gave the Wings the lead on a controversial goal that looked like it was scored with a high stick. After a Pavel Datsyuk shot from near the wall hit in front of the net and bounced high in the air, Franzen batted it in with a stick that appeared to be over the crossbar. But after a quick replay review, officials determined it was good.
Anaheim did little to counter in the period, going almost 11 minutes from the 3:42 mark without a shot on goal. It wasn’t until the final minute, with goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere on the bench for an extra attacker, that the Ducks gave their fans hope.
Samuel Pahlsson ripped a shot from the slot, with goalie Chris Osgood susceptible, that flew just wide. Seconds later, Corey Perry had the puck bounce to him in front of Osgood, but couldn’t lift it over the goalie's glove. And with just a couple of ticks left, Niedermayer put the puck on net for a Bobby Ryan one-timer try that was stuffed.
It was the first time this season the Ducks lost after taking a lead into the third period, as they had been 14-0-0 in that scenario entering tonight. It also spoiled a stellar night for Getzlaf, who had a goal and two assists on the three Ducks tallies.
"These are the types of games you need to win and the type of games you need to have at the end of the day," Giguere said. "We had a pretty good effort. We just found a way to lose. Teams that play with confidence, they find ways to win. I think the Red Wings did that tonight. "
|Getzlaf had a hand in all three Ducks tallies, with a goal and two pretty assists.
Those opening 40 minutes produced the kind of high-tempo, hard-hitting, seesaw hockey worthy of the longtime rivals and last two Stanley Cup champs. Detroit got on top first 9:03 into the opening period, as Datsyuk raced up the wing, fed Tomas Holstrom in the slot and Holstrom redirected a backhander through.
But the Ducks came back with two goals in the final four minutes of the period, both courtesy of the handywork of Getzlaf. In a barrage on net that produced four Ducks shots in a manner of seconds, Getzlaf collected his own rebound and shuttled the puck under Detroit goalie Chris Osgood for the goal.
Then with 1:12 left in the period, Getzlaf faked a shot from the slot, pulled the puck back and lost defenseman Kris Draper before feeding it to the top of the crease, where Corey Perry poked it home.
That 2-1 lead was erased 2:49 into the second period with the Wings on a power play following a Chris Pronger cross checking penalty. Niklas Kronwall dumped the puck in the corner, only to see it hit a seam in the glass and deflect back to the middle of the ice. Jiri Hudler picked it up with only Giguere in front of him and he sent it past him.
But the Ducks fought back again seven seconds after a Derek Meech boarding penalty expired, again thanks to Getzlaf’s deft puck-handling. Getzlaf picked up the puck near the left wing boards and sent it to the other side of the ice, where Montador sent a shot on net that popped the water bottle.
The Ducks had several close calls in the second period, including in the opening two minutes, when twice Giguere was out of position and would have given up goals if not for diving blocked shots by first Travis Moen and later Bret Hedican.
That was exemplary of the tireless Ducks play in the first two periods that unfortunately didn't carry over to the third.
"It was a really highly-paced game. In the end, we found a way to lose the hockey game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "When you score three goals you should win in your own building. We turned the puck over, specifically in the third period on the two goals, which really provided the margin of victory for them. It wasn’t because didn’t try. We worked our rear ends off. We committed to playing a physical game. I didn’t think we were undisciplined. That was the way it went. We got beat."
Oddly enough, the loss was the fourth straight 4-3 decision for Anaheim, and the eighth in the last 12 games.
"It’s going to be up to us, the veterans especially, to step up and create something here," Giguere said. "I think we’re a pretty confident group, but it could be a little bit better for sure, especially for me."
Tonight’s game marked the end of an extended home swing for the Ducks, who now head to Pittsburgh for a Friday game with the other ’08 Stanley Cup finalist that kicks off a four-game road trip heading into the All-Star break.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Tough loss for the Ducks as they look strong over the first two periods, only to lose a lead they took into the third for the first time this year. Detroit prevails, 4-3.
19:57 - Niedermayer puts the puck on net from the corner, and Ryan tries to force his way in for the one-timer, but it's stopped.
19:10 - Perry has the puck bounce to him right in front of Osgood, but he can't get it over the goalie's glove.
18:40 - Giguere heads to the bench, just before a Pahlsson shot from the slot goes wide.
18:20 - Pronger gives the Ducks hope with a ripped one-timer, but it bumps off Osgood's leg pad.
17:30 - Two and a half minutes left and the Ducks need to go to work.
16:30 - Datsyuk lines up a shot that he shoots between the legs of Holstrom (who has his back to his teammate) and Giguere somehow sees it to save it.
16:24 - Filppula falls on top fo the puck behind the Anaheim net, then tucks it in like he's recovering a fumble. No, that's not delay of game.
The attendance is announced as 17,525, fourth straight sellout.
14:41 - Anaheim's first shot since 3:42 into the period, a snap shot from the wing from Perry, deflects high over Osgood's shoulder, but he smothers it just before Perry arrives to follow it.
13:35 - The Ducks haven't been able to do much to counter those two goals in the last few minutes.
10:07 - DETROIT GOAL - JOHAN FRANZEN - Datsyuk takes a shot from just inside the left wing boards that deflects high in front of Giguere and is batted out of mid-air by Franzen into the net. It looks on replays like the stick blade was above the crossbar when he made contact, but a video review does not overturn the goal. Suddenly out of nowhere, it's 4-3 Detroit, as they score two in a span of 35 seconds.
9:32 - DETROIT GOAL - DAN CLEARY - Scott Niedermayer whiffs trying to send the puck out of the corner and it's picked up by Cleary. He eludes Niedermayer near the wall to skate to the circle and send a wrist shot off the post and in. We're tied 3-3.
8:45 - A good and well-deserved kill for Anaheim.
6:45 - ANA Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. tripping. As Osgood clears the puck behind the net, Pahlsson and Brad Stuart are shoulder-to-shoulder heading for the boards and Stuart falls to the ice on his own. Absolutely horrible call. And the crowd is letting the official know it after they see the replay on the video board.
Festerling is listed as questionable to return after taking a shot off the leg last period.
3:45 - Ebbett forces his way behind the defense and rides in on Osgood, doing everything right but the shot.
3:24 - Ryan gets whistled for a hand pass just as he's tripped to the ice. The crowd thinks they're getting a penalty called, but they're not.
1:59 - DET Penalty - Jiri Hudler, 2 min. hooking. But according to the ref, it's "Crackle, crackle, crackle, crackle."
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks give one up early to Hudler, but get it back from Montador as they lead 3-2. If the first two periods are any indication, we're in for a doozy in the third.
17:44 - Franzen tries to sweep in a rebound behind Giguere, but he can't get around the post, as Giguere manages to nicely trip him up while crawling into position. Still, a scary moment for Anaheim.
16:01 - A Hossa slap shot drills Festerling in the knee as he's standing in front of the net. He's helped off by trainer Tim Clark and Rob Niedermayer.
15:49 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. hooking.
The NHL's Bumps and Bruises segment has been the same stuff practically the whole season. The last shot is always the same one of a guy getting thrown into the bench, and the crowd always reacts to it as if they're seeing it for the first time. Always kills me.
14:34 - Carter drills Meech as the puck is going the other way and Meech lands awkwardly on his knee, limps off and heads to the locker room.
11:28 - ANAHEIM GOAL - STEVE MONTADOR - Seconds after the penalty expires, Getzlaf picks up the puck near the left wing boards and slings it to Montador on the other side of the ice. He tosses a shot on net that hits nothing but water bottle, pumping his fist down low to celebrate. It's 3-2 Anaheim and this is a heck of a hockey game.
10:40 - Morrison, who did about three things wrong in the last 10 seconds, whiffs on a one-timer try off a Getzlaf feed with the Ducks on the rush.
9:21 - DET Penalty - Derek Meech, 2 min. boarding. Meech sends Miller into the glass, and Miller grows 10 more grey hairs.
8:35 - Perry's deflected redirect just misses the mark. Three times that's happened for Anaheim.
Just got this email from out-of-town Ducks fan Keriann: I come all the way to Anaheim and get stuck behind this.
2:49 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JIRI HUDLER - Niklas Kronwall dumps the puck in the corner, but it takes a crazy bounce off the glass right to Hudler in the crease. He has only Giguere to beat and he tags a slap shot past him. Not much Giguere could do there and it's 2-2.
2:15 - Datsyuk dekes around Giguere, making him look silly, but his shot is blocked by a diving Hedican in the crease.
2:00 - Hossa swings hard off a bouncing puck and tings it off the bar.
1:30 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. cross checking. Pronger cross checking? I think you've got the wrong guy.
1:01 - The Ducks barely escape as Giguere is way out of position when the puck bounces to Rafalski with a wide open net. But his shot is blocked by a diving Moen to save the day.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - And it's a dandy for the Ducks in the final four minutes, as they get goals from Getzlaf and Perry to erase the deficit and take a 2-1 advantage.
18:48 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY - Anaheim goals just seem to be getting prettier and prettier. Getzlaf handles the puck in the slot and fakes a shot before deking around a completely turned-around Kris Draper. He heads toward the right wing before feeding it to the top of the crease, where Perry one-times it netbound. His 11th on the year. The Ducks take a 2-1 lead. Now where's that beer?
17:11 - DET Penalty - Tomas Holmstrom, 2 min. holding. A Ducks power play goal just before the end of the period would make me very happy. Also, a beer.
It's trivia time and the question is, "What year did Joe Louis Arena in Detroit open?" Answer: Who cares? Actually, our contestant answers C. 1979 and he's ... right. Next question: When should Joe Louis Arena be condemned? Answer: Immediately.
16:00 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - The Ducks have four shots at it in a manner of seconds and and finally get one through. Montador takes a shot from the low right wing that hits off Osgood toward Kunitz on the other side of the net. He quickly puts a backhand on net that Osgood stops. That rebound comes to Getzlaf to the right of the net and he tries a shot, stopped again. But the puck comes back to him and he forces it under the prone goalie, raising both hands to the sky. We're tied 1-1.
14:50 - Almost a mirror image of the Ebbett play, Carter redirects with his back to the net and somehow that one
13:32 - An Ebbett redirect of a point shot bounces just past the net. Looked like it was in from here.
12:57 - Scott Niedermayer throws a knuckleball on net that Osgood traps benath himself, and Ebbett and Perry try to poke at it to no avail. And also like clockwork, Perry falls all over the goalie.
The tennis balls are sitting eight rows from each other, separated by an aisle. What's going on?
11:16 - DET Penalty - Dan Cleary, 2 min. hooking. And just like clockwork, the referee's mic produces nothing but static. Why can the NFL figure that out, but the NHL can't?
11:07 - Pahlsson wiggles behind the D in the slot, and tries a wrist shot that Osgood slaps away.
10:31 - Ryan heads up the left wing, tries to shake and bake a bit and takes a shot that Osgood bobbles. Ebbett pops in to try and poke in the rebound, but this one Osgood holds.
It's Ducks-Detroit, so we have to have this little "Hey, Pavel" flashback.
9:03 - DETROIT GOAL - TOMAS HOLMSTROM - Datsyuk leaves behind a trail of flames as he burns up the right wing, then hits the brakes to feed Holstrom up the center lane. He gets position on Pronger to redirect it through and it's 1-0 Detroit.
Power Player Krystal, on the ice right now doing cleaning duty, is working her last game tonight. Worst news since Brian Burke left.
6:15 - Tall Guy nicely breaks up a Hossa pass on a 2-on-1 with Cleary.
4:25 - A redirected Kopecky shot rings the far post. Giguere didn't have that one.
3:30 - The Ducks do nicely to eject the puck out of their zone on the kill. One last shot at it for Detroit, still leading the league in power play percentage.
1:49 - ANA Penalty - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. slashing. Niedermayer allegedly slashes Datsyuk as he races into the Anaheim end.
Unfortunately, lots of red jerseys in the crowd tonight, consistent with the theory that the lousiest cities have the most displaced fans. Same goes for when Buffalo is in the house.
0:20 - Zetterberg, already getting aggressive around the cage, knocks it off its hinges.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - Another beautiful rendition of the anthem by Christina Reyes, wearing the black-rimmed glasses tonight.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; DET Chris Osgood
Starting Skaters - ANA Chris Pronger, Brendan Mikkelson
, Corey Perry
, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Getzlaf
; DET Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Dan Cleary, Henrik Zetterberg, Marian Hossa
Scratches - ANA Nathan McIver, Todd Marchant
, Matt Beleskey
; DET Kirk Maltby, Chris Chelios