ANAHEIM – A sellout crowd of 17,174 bore witness tonight to something that hasn’t happened at Honda Center in nearly two months – a Ducks loss.
Justin Abdelkader’s hat trick and five unanswered Detroit goals helped the Red Wings deal the Ducks a 5-1 defeat, snapping a club-record streak of 13 home wins. It was the first loss at Honda Center for Anaheim since a 5-0 setback to Vancouver in the home opener on January 25.
The Ducks actually led in the first period after a Teemu Selanne goal, but the Wings went on to score two in that period, two more in the second and another in the third on their way to a convincing victory.
Anaheim will quickly get its shot at payback, as they play these same Red Wings again at Honda Center on Sunday, a quirk in this season’s compacted NHL schedule.
“We want to remember it and we don’t want it to happen again," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "That’s a pretty good team over there and they handled the puck tremendously, and they made us look bad. Hopefully tomorrow at practice, and in the video room, we’ll make some adjustments and Sunday we’ll come out a lot better.”
Selanne put the Ducks in front 1-0 on his second goal in as many games, taking a Kyle Palmieri pass on the rush and pushing it past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.
But Detroit tied it, then took the lead, in a hurry. Just two minutes after the Selanne goal, Abdelkader got his first of three on the night, skating around Sheldon Souray before forcing the puck under Viktor Fasth. A minute-and-a-half after that, Pavel Datsyuk converted on the power play, as Damien Brunner fed in front from behind the net and Datsyuk backhanded it into the open net.
It was more Detroit in the second period, as Abdelkader got his second and third goals to make it 4-1 Red Wings. He took a pass from Johan Franzen and whipped a wrist shot into the top corner at 3:06. That prompted the Ducks to try to find a spark by sending Fasth to the bench for Jonas Hiller.
“I didn’t think Viktor was really sharp," Boudreau said, "and I said to myself, ‘If they score early in the second period, I’m going to shake it up’ because it would still give us enough time to bounce back from it. But tonight wasn’t going to be one of those nights that we bounce back.”
It was not, as Detroit made it 4-1 when the Ducks turned the puck over, and Abdelkader shuttled the puck past Hiller on the stick side.
At the other end of the rink, the Detroit defense and Howard made things tough on the Ducks, as the Red Wings goalie recorded 33 saves on the night.
“You give a team like that any sort of space, any sort of momentum, they can capitalize on that, and I think that’s exactly what happened tonight," said Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler. "We, as a team, came ready to play because we knew the emotional high we were coming off of against Chicago, and we wanted to make sure we brought that same intensity tonight. At times we showed it, but like I said, you have a few shifts there where bounces don’t go your way and they make it hurt.”
To add insult to injury, with less than five minutes remaining in the game, Hiller couldn’t control a Franzen shot, and Franzen’s attempt to put the rebound back on net was accidentally tipped over the stripe by Ducks winger Emerson Etem to make it 5-1.
That’s where it remained, as the Ducks suffered their first regulation loss since February 25 at LA (a string of 12 straight with at least a point). The Ducks didn't go down without a (literal) fight, as Ryan Getzlaf, Palmieri and Bobby Ryan each got into scraps before it was over.
“All good things have to come to an end eventually. I think we would’ve liked a little better effort if we were going to watch it disappear," said Fowler. "But that’s why we get to come back Sunday and get back at it again.”
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks home streak snapped at 13, as Red Wings prevail 5-1.
17:57 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. cross checking and 5 min. fighting and DET Penalty - Brendan Smith, 5 min. fighting. Ryan not happy about a hit Smith laid on him and he goes after him, refusing to go away without a fight. Smith finally engages, as they both swing and miss on a couple of punches, with Smith sneaking in one more after Ryan goes down.Ryan gets the extra two for cross-checking.
15:17 - DETROIT GOAL - JOHAN FRANZEN - Franzen takes a relatively tame shot from the left wing that Hiller can't control. Franzen follows up and sends it in front of the net, where Etem accidentally tips it into the net. It's 5-1.
13:00 - Things starting to get a bit subdued in here.
11:00 - Beleskey looked like he wanted to get into it with one Red Wing, but the official forcefully pushed them away from each other.
7:30 - Beauchemin tries to force one through, then gets tangled up with Howard. No penalties, no fights.
Seven years ago on this date, the Ducks came back from a three-goal deficit to beat Colorado in overtime. Just saying.
0:00 - Ducks with some serious work to do as we start the third.
2nd Period 20:00 - END OF PERIOD - An ugly period for Anaheim ends with some violence, and they trail it 4-1.
20:00 - As time expires, Lashoff tries to get into it with Selanne and the young Ducks are having none of that. Holland jumps in and finally Palmieri goes toe-to-toe with Lashoff. Again it's a lot of grabbing before Palmieri takes him down.
19:23 - As the puck heads into the Anaheim end, Getzlaf and Ericsson tangle way back in the Detroit zone and ultimately drop the gloves. It's a lot of clutching and grabbing and Getzlaf finally wrestles him to the sheet. They'll both go to their rooms.
18:57 - Hiller puts a stop to a long-term residence in the Ducks end, by taking in a slap shot. This period has been all Detroit, if you couldn't already tell.
12:46 - DETROIT GOAL - JUSTIN ABDELKADER - Datsyuk swipes the puck on a Sbisa pass attempt and gets it to Franzen. He takes the puck off the wall and sends it over to Abdelkader, who shuttles it past Hiller on the stick side. That's one Hiller and Sbisa would like to have back, and it's the first career hat trick for Abdelkader. It's also 4-1 Detroit.
12:11 - Ducks with a few chances, but can't convert on that power play. They're 0 for 3.
10:51 - Holland tries to get an ugly one in front, and Emmerton flings the loose puck into the Ducks bench. Ducks trying to claim it went over the glass near their bench, and officials get together and determine it did not.
9:59 - DET Penalty - Joakim Andersson, 2 min. holding. Selanne draws the call by cutting in front of Andersson for the puck, and Andersson takes him down.
7:45 - Ducks with a couple of shots at it, but Howard is too good. Just like Crawford two nights ago. You can't beat this guy. Hear that, hockey gods? He's unbeatable.
Haven't heard this hard rock cover of "Like a Prayer" in here before. Not sure how I feel about it.
5:25 - Getzlaf swings the puck into the crease, and it's almost redirected by Howard. Good stop.
3:06 - Goal was clearly not Fasth's fault, but Ducks make a goalie change to shake things up, as Hiller jumps into the crease.
3:06 - DETROIT GOAL - JUSTIN ABDELKADER - Detroit takes a two-goal lead when Franzen slips the puck across the ice to Abdelkader, who whips a wicked wrist shot top corner for his second of the game.
2:15 - Selanne staying active with a shot from the slot off Howard.
0:45 - Ryan with Anaheim's best shot on that PP, slinging a one-timer off Howard.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, Ducks on the PP.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks run out of time on that power play, but they'll have 1:23 when we come back. They score first, but Detroit scores twice. It's 2-1.
19:22 - DET Penalty - Brendan Smith. 2 min. hooking. Smith gets tangled with Fowler and the Ducks have a two-man advantage for 26 seconds.
18:30 - Ducks with a couple near-misses in front.
17:48 - DET Penalty - Niklas Kronwall, 2 min. slashing. Kronwall pokes at Perry four times before finally breaking his stick. First Ducks PP.
14:59 - DETROIT GOAL - PAVEL DATSYUK - The Detroit power play takes advantage, as they nearly score on a backdoor play, but eventually get the goal when Brunner gets the puck in front from behind the net, and Datsyuk keeps it from Beauchemin before backhanding it into the open net. It's 2-1 Detroit.
14:15 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. hooking.
13:36 - DETROIT GOAL - JUSTIN ABDELKADER - After a lengthy stay in the Detroit end, the Ducks have a defensive breakdown. Abdelkader picks up the puck at center ice, skates around Souray in the corner and pushes the puck between Fasth's leg pads. We're tied 1-1.
13:30 - Ducks with the puck for about a half-day in the Detroit end.
11:31 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne starts the Ducks rush by sending the puck across the ice to Palmieri on the left wing. He gives it right back to Selanne, who reaches out to sweep it past Howard. After not scoring since March 1, Selanne has two in the last two games and it's 1-0 Ducks.
9:26 - Etem gets some space down right wing and feeds into the crease, where Beleskey nearly backhands it through.
During the timeout, an air guitar competition between a dude and a girl with lots of blonde hair, and while she does good work, he steals the show. (Didn't think she deserved the few boos she got, but these fans have strong opinions.)
7:36 - A little chaos in front of the Ducks net as Abdelkader almost kicks it in this time, but Fasth covers it long enough to get the whistle.
6:45 - Steckel tries to poke in a rolling puck in front of the net and it deflects high into the air. Etem knocks it down and gets the puck over the stripe with the heel of his skate. It's ruled a goal on the ice, and they review it to see if he kicked it in (again that "distinct kicking motion") and ... it's waved off. Tough break for Anaheim and Etem.
6:35 - Abdelkader tries to make something happen off a Ducks giveaway, but Sbisa says nuh-uh.
5:08 - Holland shows off the mitts weaving his way through the red defense, and the only thing that stops him from scoring is Howard.
4:10 - Former Duck Drew Miller snaps a shot from the left wing that flies off the glass.
3:33 - Etem with a one-timer off Howard's chest and Steckel nearly sweeps in the rebound.
2:07 - Fasth with his first stop of the night on a Detroit point shot.
1:30 - Getzlaf tries to jam it through and nearly does.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Fasth in net for the Ducks. Perry comes off suspension and returns to the lineup.
Starters in bold/italics.