ANAHEIM – The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season, but they were made to look vulnerable in one weekend by the Detroit Red Wings.
Anaheim’s attempt at a 15th comeback victory was thwarted in a feverish third period by goalie Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings in a 2-1 Detroit victory in front of 17,427 at Honda Center. That combined with Detroit’s 5-1 victory on Friday night marked the first consecutive victories in regulation for the Ducks (22-5-4) this season.
Howard stopped all 11 Anaheim shots in the third, as the Ducks valiantly tried to get the equalizing goal and came up empty on a number of opportunities. The last came with four seconds left in the game, as Cam Fowler took a wide open shot in the slot, only to have it deflect off Howard's shoulder as the clock wound down to the final horn.
Anaheim’s frustration erupted with 33.5 seconds left as they were fighting for the tying goal with goalie Jonas Hiller on the bench for an extra attacker. Detroit forward Valterri Filppula appeared to fall to the ice on his own, but Ryan Getzlaf was called for a tripping penalty on the play. Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne passionately argued the call and each were given misconduct penalties for it.
“I’m not going to comment like I want to. It’s not my place right now," Getzlaf said. "I’m trying to stay composed. And make it perfectly clear I’m not frustrated just with the final play of the game. That’s not what this is all about. But I don’t want to take anything from the Detroit Red Wings. They played hard tonight and their goaltender played great. It’s the nature of the game. We’re going to bite our tongue and push forward right now.”
Among the many Ducks opportunities in the third was a sequence early in the third in which Emerson Etem raced down the left wing and fired a wrist shot off the near post.
"We were all over them," said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano. "We had a couple shifts there, where they were out there for a good minute, minute and ten, it was just a matter of putting the puck in. You did so much to get chances. There were a lot of different looks we had, but it didn’t go in. You’ve got to give some credit to their D and their goalie.”
The Wings opened the scoring 4:14 into the first period on the power play, as Jakub Kindl launched a shot from the point that Daniel Cleary tipped through with his back to the net.
A little more than four minutes later, former Duck Drew Miller struck for Detroit, as an Ian White point shot was kicked around and settled outside the crease, where Miller punched it past Hiller.
The Ducks got the goal they had been seemingly waiting an eternity for with 45.1 seconds left in the second period. On the power play following a Cleary interference call, Getzlaf skated into the right wing circle before releasing a wrist shot that dove inside the far post. That snapped a string of seven unanswered Detroit goals that went back to Friday night.
Neither team found the net the rest of the way, thanks in great part to Howard in the Detroit net, as he had 33 saves on the night.
The Ducks turn right around and face another bitter rival at Honda Center tomorrow night when they take on the Sharks.
Getzlaf stressed the need to regroup for that game, saying, "That’s part of being professional. That’s the one benefit we have in the back-to-back games. We get to go right back at it tomorrow. The benefit we have is we’re heading in the right direction. We’re not going on a downward spiral. The other game we didn’t play very well. Tonight we played well, but we played just well enough to lose. Hopefully we’re on the incline and tomorrow night we can play well enough to win.”
Added Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, "I anticipate us to come out and play just as hard, if not harder. As long we don’t dwell on it to the point where we’re feeling sorry for ourselves now, we’ll be fine. This is a real though stretch we’re going through against a lot of really good teams. So we have to bring our A game every night or we won’t be successful.”
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks come close, but lose it 2-1.
19:57 - Fowler's shot with three seconds left is knocked away by Howard with the forearm.
19:30 - Hiller to the bench again.
19:26 - Hiller back in there with 33.5 left and Red Wings on power play.
19:26 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. tripping and 2 min. unsportsmanlike conduct and Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry, 2 min. misconduct and game misconduct. Getzlaf is furious as he's called for the penalty with 33.5 left when Filppula falls to the ice. He's sent to the showers for loudly objecting, as are Perry and Selanne. They may have had a point.
19:15 - Getzlaf wins the draw and Hiller goes to the bench.
19:04 - Souray ices it with 55.1 left, which hurts because Hiller can't go to the bench with the draw in the Anaheim end.
Some Detroit fan throws an octopus on the ice just before the draw. Classy as ever.
16:16 - Crowd gets ready to rise as Souray winds and fires, but Howard reaches out to glove it. Ouch.
14:40 - DET Penalty - Johan Franzen, 2 min. tripping. Franzen takes down Selanne on the rush. During the delay, Palmieri fires just wide on the far side. Big PP for Anaheim.
14:26 - Franzen tries to sneak into the slot, and his shot is shooed away by Hiller into the netting. Timeout with 5:34 left and the Ducks down a goal.
11:53 - Ryan lays it off to Getzlaf, who gets in deep, but Howard takes away his fun with the glove.
10:29 - Ducks continue to battle hard, this time the trio of Winnik, Koivu and Cogliano.
8:30 - Line of Selanne, Holland and Palmieri is workin' hard.
Huge applause as we again honor a member of the military during the timeout. This crowd is ready to explode.
6:12 - Ducks fighting hard for that tying goal.
5:18 - Howard gloves a Lovejoy shot with Selanne charging after him. He's going to be tough to beat in this next 14:42.
2:45 - Big-time groan moment as Etem speeds down left wing, gets off a shot and it clangs the near post. Wow.
0:00 - Here we go in the third. Ducks looking for their 15th come-from-behind victory of the season.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks get the only goal of the period, from Getzlaf with less than a minute left and it's 2-1.
19:55 - Ducks get the crowd excited when Cogliano and Steckel run down for a 2-on-1, but Steckel can't do much with the puck.
19:14 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - The Ducks get the goal they've been waiting an eternity for, as Getzlaf skates into the right wing circle and unleashes a wrist shot that dives inside the left (far) post with 45.1 left in the period. It's 2-1 now.
17:38 - DET Penalty - Daniel Cleary, 2 min. interference. Ducks get a break when officials claim Cleary interfered.
16:35 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. roughing. Beleskey with a seemingly benign late hit on Smith, who sold it a bit.
15:45 - Holland takes the puck away, and heads down, but has it taken from him by Lashoff. A few seconds later, Holland hits the post with a shot.
14:09 - Palmieri tries to crash his way into the crease, but Howard splays out and stops him. He's good.
10:06 - Beauchemin picks off an errant pass, then tries a quick shot and Howard gloves it. He's perfect tonight.
9:16 - Ducks with a big kill there.
7:16 - ANA Penalty - Tony Lydman, 2 min. interference. Lydman collides with one Red Wing in the Anaheim end.
5:15 - Selanne tries to get something going from right wing, but Howard kicks it away.
3:53 - Souray with a couple of bombs from the point -- one blocked, one saved.
1:00 - Ducks dodge a bullet as Datsyuk leads the rush off a Ducks giveaway, but Beauchemin takes the puck away
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Detroit scores twice (that's seven straight for them including Friday night) and it's 2-0.
19:59 - Getzlaf with the Ducks' 13th shot of the period right before the horn and this one, like the other 12, is stopped.
19:20 - Perry back out there, and it's not long before he takes a Koivu pass and fires it just wide. Missed opportunity.
18:15 - Perry goes for the steal and runs hard into Kindl and he's a little banged up, still in some pain on the bench. Looked like his left knee bent the wrong way. Not awesome.
16:20 - Ryan with a wide open shot that doesn't get through. Ducks spend some time in the Detroit end afterward, and the Wings ice it then take timeout.
15:54 - Ducks with a kill they absolutely had to have.
13:54 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. hooking. Beleskey gets the stick blade caught in Franzen's jersey.
12:30 - Ryan whips a shot off Howard, gives it back and tries to feed in front to Beauchemin, but it's under his stick. Souray thinks he saves it from going out, but the linesman whistles the offside.
10:45 - DET Penalty - Jakub Kindl, 2 min. interference. Kindle ties up Palmieri going for the puck in the corner. Ducks bench sarcastically tapping their sticks on the boards in response to that first Detroit penalty.
8:46 - DETROIT GOAL - DREW MILLER - A White shot from the point settles down in front of the crease, where Miller steps in front of Selanne and punches it through. It's 2-0 Detroit, and Ducks take timeout.
8:17 - Palmieri tries to one-time a shot after the puck comes off the back wall and the puck gets Lashoff in the face. He comes off. It was Lashoff, by the way, who gave Selanne some needless shoves on Friday night, which led Palmieri and Holland to step in.
7:45 - Perry walks around Kronwall and gets into the crease, but somehow can't jam it past Howard. So apparently he's going to do this again tonight.
Lots of Black Keys in the arena tonight, including that aforementioned pregame video. Never a bad thing.
6:50 - Winnik with a nice backhand pass to Cogliano on the rush, but the shot is wide right.
5:27 - Right off the draw in the Anaheim end, Beleskey and Tootoo go toe-to-toe. Beleskey throws a few wild punches, landing a couple, before dragging Tootoo down to the ice. Tootoo was a longtime antagonist from his days with the Predators, and this is his first season in Detroit. He was scratched last game.
5:01 - Former Duck Miller with a one-timer that Hiller is ready for.
4:14 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DANIEL CLEARY - Cleary breaks the Ducks' hearts again (recall the '09 playoffs) on the power play, as Kindl lets go of a shot from the point and Clearly tips it past Hiller with his back to the net. It's 1-0 Red Wings.
2:42 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin. 2 min. tripping. Beauch takes down Filppula and we have our first power play.
1:55 - Lovejoy makes his presence felt early, showing now love nor joy as he slams Cleary into the glass.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Our game entertainment guys go back to the video of various #NHLDucks fans getting ready for the game. Always loved that one. That video also includes the obligatory shot of players arriving at the arena, walking in slow motion in suits.
Hiller in net for Anaheim and Howard in there for Detroit. Lovejoy activated after getting scratched the last few games. Allen will sit this one out.
Starters in bold/italics.
DETROIT RED WINGS
PAVEL DATSYUK (A)
HENRIK ZETTERBERG (C)
NIKLAS KRONWALL (A)
TEEMU SELANNE (A)
SAKU KOIVU (A)
RYAN GETZLAF (C)
1 - 0 DET
2 - 0 DET
2 - 1 DET