ANAHEIM – A mind-blowing Ducks comeback ultimately gave way to heartbreak in a 5-4 loss to Detroit in Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series at Honda Center.
The Ducks, who clawed all the way back from a three-goal deficit in the third period, had the air let out of their balloon 1:21 into overtime on a game-winning power play goal by rookie center Gustav Nyquist. The Red Wings evened up the series at a game apiece with Game 3 coming Saturday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
“I think you’re mostly disappointed every time you lose. And when you do come back to tie it, and lose it, it's a little more disappointing," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.
In a third period that you had to see to believe, the Ducks rebounded from a 4-1 deficit to score three goals in less than 10 minutes and send it to overtime.
Anaheim looked buried after Johan Franzen scored a power play goal just 20 seconds into the third to give Detroit a seemingly insurmountable three-goal lead.
But the Ducks came charging back, starting with a Ryan Getzlaf goal at 7:50. Just a couple minutes after Getzlaf made the curious decision to try a drop pass on a breakaway, he redeemed himself by swinging from the back of the net and backhanding the puck behind goalie Jimmy Howard.
Less than five minutes later, seconds after a Detroit penalty had expired, Kyle Palmieri threw the puck from the right wing circle past Howard’s glove, with help from Teemu Selanne’s screening stick.
That made it 4-3 and got the Ducks and the home crowd craving the tying goal, and they almost got it when Bobby Ryan tipped a Ben Lovejoy shot off the left post.
Ryan ended up getting sweet redemption three minutes later, when Cam Fowler found him from the left corner and Ryan one-timed his pass inside the near post. That caused the roof of Honda Center to nearly blow off as the scoreboard read 4-4.
Pavel Datsyuk nearly broke Ducks fans’ hearts with less than a minute left, when he appeared destined to backhand the tying goal into an open net, but Jonas Hiller made an incredible lunging stick save while lying on his side.
Sheldon Souray took a slashing penalty in front of the crease on Justin Adbelkader a few seconds later, which left the Ducks shorthanded entering the ensuing overtime. “I didn’t really see anything," Souray said. "It was a tough call. Tough way to end it. We battled back hard. We didn’t start the game and periods as hard as they did, and they capitalized on that.”
Indeed, the Red Wings, just as they had at the beginning of the second and third periods, cashed in on the power play. Valtteri Filppula eluded two Ducks defenders before backhanding a cross-ice pass to Nyquist, who one-timed it past a diving Hiller for the victory.
"I was hoping it would get done before overtime because I knew [the Red Wings] would gain their composure again, because the last 10 minutes [of regulation] they lost it," Boudreau said. "They were fortunate starting [overtime] on the power play and that was it.”
Anaheim endured a nightmare of an opening period, giving up two Detroit goals in the first 4:20 and taking a penalty at the end of the period that ultimately led to a third Red Wings score.
“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes tonight," Souray said. "We just need to tidy that up. With some of that just came their goals, and maybe not quite as ready to start as they were. We came back and gave ourselves a chance in the game.”
Just 48 seconds into the game, Abdelkader – who had a hat trick against the Ducks last March 22 – picked up the puck at center ice and eluded Corey Perry before slinging a wrist shot top corner.
Detroit made it 2-0 a few minutes later when Selanne lost the puck to Kyle Quincey, who tipped it to Damien Brunner wide open in the slot, and he whipped it over Hiller’s glove.
Saku Koivu was called for a charging penalty in the corner right at the horn, and Detroit capitalized on the power play to start the second. Brunner had a wide open net off a rebound, but Hiller somehow made a save with his skate. The puck sat in the crease through, where Franzen was able to jab it under Hiller for a three-goal lead.
The Ducks brought the home crowd back to life midway through the second on the power play as Selanne’s shot from the left circle rebounded off Howard to Koivu, who kicked it to his stick before sending it into the gaping right half of the cage.
Another late-period penalty – this time a cross check on Souray with less than a minute left – ended up costing the Ducks again. Just 20 seconds into the third, Franzen emerged from behind the net to slip the puck around Hiller, off the left post and over the stripe.
That made it a 4-1 deficit with less than a period left that appeared too much for the Ducks to overcome, until they proved otherwise in that incredible finish to regulation.
"They were always talking about ‘Get one, we can get two,'" Boudreau said. "The team never quits. It didn’t surprise me when Getzlaf made it 4-2 and I looked up and saw how much time was left, that there was still that opportunity to get another one, and then anything can happen. And it did.”
1:21 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - GUSTAV NYQUIST - The power play proves too much to overcome for Anaheim, as Filppula eludes two Ducks to make a cross-ice feed to Nyquist, who one-times it past a diving Hiller. Ducks comeback is spoiled in OT, 5-4.
0:00 - Here we go in OT, the Ducks on the kill.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - I can't believe what I've just seen. Ducks come back from a 4-1 deficit to send it to overtime.
19:59 - Kindl fires wide just before the horn.
19:22 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Souray, 2 min. slashing. Souray and Abdelkader battle in front of the crease, and Souray gets the gate.
19:10 - Hiller with a game-saving save on his side. Wow.
17:38 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - If I told you, "Bobby gets the tying goal I bet" 10 seconds ago, you wouldn't believe me. From the corner, Fowler sees Ryan sneaking toward the crease, so he gives him the perfect feed for the one-timer and this game is tied. Crowd is going ballistic.
14:40 - Ryan with a tip off a Lovejoy shot that hits the outside of the right post. Wow. Fans are dying.
14:26 - Cogliano pushed offside to negate a Ducks rush. We've got a timeout with 5:34 left and the Ducks down a goal.
13:45 - Hiller with two HUGE stops in a row.
12:31 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - KYLE PALMIERI - Just as the power play runs out, Palmieri puts up a desperation shot from the right wing circle that gets past Howard's glove. Selanne distracted him just enough with the stick. It's 4-3 and this crowd comes alive yet again.
10:26 - DET Penalty - Kyle Quincy, 2 min. interference. Quincey bumps down Cogliano in the slot. Huge power play for Anaheim.
7:50 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Getzlaf swings from behind the net with pressure from DeKeyser and backhands a shot that deflects off Howard and gets behind him. It's 4-2 Wings.
5:25 - Getzlaf gets on a breakaway off a Detroit turnover and tries to drop it to Palmieri, and it's picked off.
2:52 - Perry tries to get something going shorthanded, but Howard is ready for it.
2:04 - ANA Penalty - Teemu Selanne, 2 min. roughing. Selanne giving it to the rookie DeKeyser in the head after taking a hit from him against the glass.
0:20 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JOHAN FRANZEN - Red Wings convert right away, as Zetterberg gets it to Franzen behind the net, and he pushes into the crease and shoots it off the far post and over the stripe. Absolute backbreaker for Anaheim.
0:00 - Palmieri serving the penalty for Souray for some reason.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks give one up early, but get one back, and they trail 3-1. They'll have to survive 1:14 of power play time to start the third. Franzen comes off the ice very slowly after the horn.
19:45 - Franzen went down somewhere along the way, and he's not getting up right away.
19:13 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Souray, 2 min. cross checking. Souray knocks down Abdelkader as the puck is coming to him at the Anaheim blue line.
16:00 - Ryan slap shot from the point disappears into Datsyuk's uniform. That guy does everything.
13:37 - Ducks with a couple chances, but Detroit clears as the penalty runs out.
11:37 - DET Penalty - Henrik Zetterberg, 2 min. holding. Zetterberg grabs onto Allen in the corner and the Ducks get another shot at it.
10:53 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - SAKU KOIVU - Ducks finally get something going as Selanne puts the shot on net from the left circle and it rebounds off Howard into the crease. Koivu kicks it to his own stick before shutting it into the open net and the crowd comes alive. It's 3-1.
9:10 - DET Penalty - Valtteri Filppula, 2 min. hooking. Ducks with an opportunity to get back in this.
6:19 - Ducks get the kill they absolutely had to have.
4:19 - ANA Penalty - Bryan Allen, 2 min. high sticking. Just as the Ducks recover the puck, Allen gets the stick up high on a Detroit player. Ducks shorthanded again.
3:30 - Selanne gets a nice feed from Palmieri, but is just barely denied by Howard.
1:04 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - On the man advantage, the rebound comes off Hiller to Brunner, who puts it on the open net, but somehow Hiller saves it with his skate. The puck ends up in the crease, where Franzen jabs it under Hiller to make it 3-0.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, Ducks down a man for two minutes.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Wings get two in the first 4:20 and lead it 2-0.
20:00 - ANA Penalty - Saku Koivu, 2 min. charging. Koivu leaves his feet to make a hit at the horn and the Wings will have a power play at the start of the second.
17:30 - Beauchemin with a hard hit on Datsyuk, then takes one back from Abdelkader.
13:40 - Abdelkader gets on a breakaway, but Fowler harasses him enough to allow Hiller to make the stop.
13:21 - Souray tags a slap shot from the red line into Howard's gut just as the penalty expires.
12:51 - Beleskey hacks away in the crease before getting it under Howard, but for some reason the whistle had blown. Waved off on the ice.
12:30 - Interference and a slash by Detroit in the last 20 seconds. Neither called.
11:19 - DET Penalty - Patrick Eaves, 2 min. high sticking. Eaves gets Fowler in the ear and the Ducks get a 5 on 3.
9:40 - DET Penalty - Damien Brunner, 2 min. interference. Brunner with some contact away from the puck and it wiped out the Detroit advantage.
9:16 - ANA Penalty - Emerson Etem, 2 min. high sticking. Etem gets too aggressive delivering a hit on Smith in the Detroit end.
7:30 - Getzlaf back out there, by the way.
6:00 - Getzlaf appeared to get hit up high delivering a check, but he's still on the bench.
4:20 - DETROIT GOAL - DAMIEN BRUNNER - Selanne loses the puck in the Anaheim end to Quincey, who tips it to Brunner wide open in the slot, and he whips it over Hiller's glove. It's 2-0.
3:06 - Perry with a wrister through traffic that Howard robs with the glove.
1:58 - Selanne speeds around Quincey, but can't get it under Howard.
1:30 - Beleskey jumps on and nearly redirects one past Howard.
0:48 - DETROIT GOAL - JUSTIN ABDELKADER - Abdelkader picks up the puck at center ice and dekes around Perry before slinging a wrist shot that beats Hiller top right corner. It's 1-0 early.
0:30 - Ducks with some Detroit zone time to start things off. Top line of Ryan, Getzlaf and Perry go to work.
0:00 - And we're underway in Game 2.
Nothing changed for the Anaheim lineup from Game 1.
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)
Wrist shot -