ANAHEIM – Earlier in this series, Ducks center Nick Bonino admitted that teammates make fun of him because, “every goal I score I celebrate like I’ve never scored before.”
He’s never had more reason to act that way than tonight.
Bonino punched in the overtime game-winner 1:54 into the extra session to give the Ducks a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 at Honda Center. The victory gave the Ducks a 3-games-to-2 advantage in the series, which swings back to Detroit for Game 6 on Friday night.
“Game 5 is a big swing game when it’s a 2-2 series and we’d like to finish it in six," Bonino said. "We couldn’t do that without tonight. We’re going to enjoy this and start focusing on two days from now.”
The Ducks won it when Ben Lovejoy skated with the puck behind the net before sending it across the crease to Bonino, who punched it past the outstretched leg of goalie Jimmy Howard for the clincher. Bonino went ballistic just before getting mobbed by the entire slew of Ducks teammates as a deafening roar poured out from the standing-room-only crowd of 17,395.
“I wanted to shoot it but didn’t get the chance," Lovejoy said. "I was able to get a toe-drag in and hit Nick back door.”
Said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau of Bonino, “He’s a great opportunist. He comes up with big goals. He’s just that kind of guy. He’s a heck of a player for us right now and a heck of a competitor. He’s come to the floor at important times during these first five games.”
The win was sweet redemption for the Ducks, who had dropped the two previous overtime games of this series – Game 2 at Honda Center and Game 4 two nights ago at Joe Louis Arena.
Just like OT, regulation play had plenty of intense moments, one of the more edgy coming with less than 20 seconds left in the third period. The Ducks survived the puck bouncing around in front of their net and went the other way led by their top line. Corey Perry (0 goals in the series) swung in from the left wing to the slot, where he whipped a wrist shot that Howard trapped under his right arm with just 9.7 seconds left.
The Ducks had appeared to take the lead eight minutes into the third period when Emerson Etem fired a pass from the corner into the crease, where Kyle Palmieri crashed the net and forced it under Howard. But referee Wes McCauley emphatically waved off the goal, apparently believing that Palmieri pushed Howard over the goal line with the puck.
Detroit drew first blood 5:28 into the game on a power-play goal by Johan Franzen that followed a Perry goalie interference call. From the low left circle, Franzen threw the puck on net, where it was nearly deflected in by Sheldon Souray. Jonas Hiller stopped the puck, but Franzen stepped up to drag it over the stripe.
Anaheim got even with 2:19 left in the period, as Palmieri took the puck off a David Steckel faceoff win, turned and fired a wrist shot that sailed through traffic and beat Howard.
The Wings went back in front halfway through the second as a Franzen bid from the left wing was kicked out by Hiller, but Mikael Samuelsson punched in the rebound. Samuelsson was inserted into the lineup the last two games after Justin Abdelkader was suspended for two after a head shot on Toni Lydman in Game 3. Lydman tonight missed his second straight game.
Detroit looked poised to take a two-goal lead when Daniel Winnik was assessed a five-minute major for boarding Daniel Cleary, who left the game with an apparent shoulder injury (and returned in the third). The Ducks not only survived much of that power play, but erased it when Ryan Getzlaf drew a holding penalty on Brendan Smith four minutes into it.
Getzlaf then took quick advantage when the Winnik penalty expired (and the Ducks found themselves on the power play), as he cruised down the center of the ice before unleashing a wrist shot through traffic that slammed the back of the net.
That tied it 2-2, where it remained through the third period, despite a number of chances for both sides. Both goalies were strong, however, as Hiller had 29 stops on the night and Howard had 31.
“Tonight was a pretty even hockey game," Getzlaf said, echoing the theme of the entire series. "It went both ways at different times. Goaltenders made big saves at both ends. We got the first period that we wanted and that was important.”
Anaheim improved its all-time playoff record to 57-45 tonight (.559 win percentage). In addition, the club is now 14-16 vs. Detroit in all-time postseason play (8-7 at Honda Center).
All-time the Ducks are now 5-2 vs. Detroit in overtime situations.
The Ducks are now 6-8 all-time in Game 5 situations.
Nick Bonino scored his first career OT goal tonight. He co-leads the team in goals this postseason (3) and ranks tied for sixth in the NHL. His two GWG co-lead the NHL (also scored the GWG in Game 3).
Francois Beauchemin collected his 14th career postseason assist, moving into a share of eighth in Ducks all-time postseason scoring (9-14=23 in 66 games).
Ryan Getzlaf scored his third goal of the postseason, ranking tied for sixth in the NHL. His 3-2=5 points through five postseason games leads the club.
Jonas Hiller won his 10th career postseason game tonight, now ranking second all-time among Anaheim goaltenders in postseason wins (Giguere, 33). In five appearances this series, he has stopped 146-of-157 shots for a .930 SV% and 2.07 GAA (11 GA/319 MIN), ranking seventh among NHL goaltenders in GAA and sixth in SV%.
Tonight’s attendance was 17,395, a sellout including standing room only.
1:54 - ANAHEIM GOAL - NICK BONINO - The Ducks win it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lovejoy, probably the best defenseman on the ice tonight, skates with the puck behind the net, stays with it and taps it through the cease to Bonino, who one-times it over the kicked-out leg of Howard for the win. The place is bedlam as the Ducks win it 3-2.
0:50 - Getzlaf with a great pass from behind the net to Allen, whose one-timer somehow misses the net wide right. Wow.
0:15 - Detroit throws the top line out there looking to end it early, and Hiller kicks a shot away before the Ducks ice it.
0:00 - Here we go...
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - For the third time in this series, we're going to OT.
19:50 - After the Ducks escape from a scary moment in front of their net, the top line goes the other way. Perry cuts to the middle of the ice and fires a shot that Howard pops out to stop with 9.7 left. That would have lit this place up if it had gone through.
16:53 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey and DET Penalty - Brendan Smith, 2 min. each roughing. Both Beleskey and Smith battle each other away from the puck and both get the gate.
16:15 - Ryan's shot kicked away. Getzlaf's follow just wide.
14:54 - Eaves get behind the D to receive a stretch pass. He's offside with 5:06 left. No, not nervous at all.
8:05 - Etem picks up the puck in the corner and whips it into the crease, where Palmieri crashes in and ultimately gets it under Howard. Referee on the ice immediately and emphatically waves it off. They appear to review it, but there is no announcement. That's a goal. Plain and simple.
5:50 - Bertuzzi is wide open when Sbisa takes the wrong route around the net, but Hiller makes the stop.
4:15 - Souray sweeps away a dangerous pass into the crease.
3:20 - Etem tries to make some magic on his own down right wing, but can't quite finish. Heck of an effort though.
0:10 - Cleary returns for Detroit.
0:00 - We're off and running in what it's safe to say is the most important period of this season for the Ducks.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks survive a major than turn the tables with a power play goal to tie it late, 2-2.
19:28 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - The 4-on-4 transforms into a Ducks power play, and Anaheim takes quick advantage. Getzlaf cruises with the puck down the middle of the ice, waits for some traffic in front and unleashes a wrister that slams into the back of the net with 31.8 left. We're tied 2-2. What a turnaround for the Ducks.
18:26 - DET Penalty - Brendan Smith. 2 min. holding. Getzlaf blocks a shot and heads the other way, as Smith holds him from behind near the left wing wall. HUGE break for Anaheim.
17:30 - Ducks catch a couple of breaks after some bad clears.
14:15 - ANA Penalty - Daniel Winnik, 5 min. major boarding. Winnik goes shoulder-to-shoulder with Clearly and rides him into the wall. Cleary is down for awhile with a shoulder injury, which leads to a major.
13:27 - Hiller with another big stop on Datsyuk after a bad giveaway by Beauchemin.
11:43 - Hiller with a huge save as Brunner was alone on the breakaway.
10:38 - Howard takes in a shot from the point, then Perry is pushed toward Howard, who tumbles backward again. This time no penalty.
10:08 - DETROIT GOAL - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON - Franzen wrists a shot from left wing that Hiller kicks out, but Samuelsson is there to punch in the rebound. It's 2-1 Detroit.
9:01 - Nyquist puts some moves on Fowler and fires, but Hiller gobbles it.
7:50 - Palmieri gets way out in front of the breakaway, has an aggressive Howard down, but backhands wide. Never had great control of it.
7:10 - Ducks with a number of shots on net as they pin it in the Detroit end.
4:17 - Detroit keeps it in the Anaheim end for an eternity before the Ducks finally ice it. They can't change, so Boudreau takes his timeout.
3:40 - Hiller with a big stop on Eaves in front after a Ducks turnover.
2:50 - Palmieri zig-zags into the Detroit zone, but fires way wide on the far side from right wing.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Detroit gets one on the power play and the Ducks get one back via Palmieri. It's 1-1.
19:20 - Ducks outshooting Detroit, 18-8.
17:41 - ANAHEIM GOAL - KYLE PALMIERI - Mere seconds after Steckel wins the draw, Palmieri turns and fires a shot from inside the blue line that sails through traffic and beats Howard. Crowd comes alive and it's 1-1.
15:28 - Brunner jabs away at a loose one in front of Hiller, who covers just before Winnik sends Brunner flying from behind.
14:26 - Souray tags a one-timer, but Howard is ready.
12:26 - Hiller saves his own bacon, diving on a loose puck behind him just barely on the happy side of the stripe.
11:54 - Seconds after the power play expires, Perry gets the puck alone in front and Howard robs him with the glove. Perry can't buy one this series.
9:35 - DET Penalty - Cory Emmerton, 2 min. high sticking. Emmerton gets the stick up in Getzlaf's head and knocks the bucket off. Ducks get 22 seconds of 5-on-3 time.
8:54 - Fowler whips a wrister from the high slot, but Howard saves.
8:16 - Selanne on the doorstep (off a nice feed by Ryan) is robbed by Howard.
7:57 - DET Penalty - Johan Franzen, 2 min. boarding. Franzen throws Allen into the wall and the Ducks get their first power play.
5:28 - DETROIT GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JOHAN FRANZEN - Souray, defending in front, nearly deflects Franzen's centering pass by Hiller. He makes the save, but Franzen is there to drag it in. Ducks give up the power play goal on a curious penalty and it's 1-0 Detroit.
5:01 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. goaltender interference. Howard goes down like he was shot, with Perry's legs tangled in his. Perry gets the penalty and doesn't care for it, and gets into it with Howard.
4:05 - Shot from the point leaks out from behind Hiller and trickles just wide. Ducks clear it to kill that PP.
2:17 - ANA Penalty - Saku Koivu, 2 min. interference. Koivu falls into Howard and the hand goes up. Koivu not loving that.
1:54 - Ducks get it in deep, and Ryan tries to hack away at the loose puck and Howard. Eaves doesn't like it and gets in Ryan's face. No penalties for either side.
0:00 - And we're underway in Game 5.
Same lineup as Game 4, with Lydman still out and Souray starting alongside Beauchemin.
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
1 - 1 Tie