The Anaheim Ducks squared off against the Detroit Red Wings in a matchup of playoff caliber teams. The Ducks, who were still riding an emotional high from beating the Blackhawks, hoped to continue their success at home. With the fantastic goaltending from Jimmy Howard, the Ducks fell to the Red Wings 5-1.
At the start of the first period, the Ducks were on the offensive, attacking Howard and the Red Wings defense. The Ducks were not able to convert on any of the shots in front of the net until a rebound in the air went to Emerson Etem for the goal. The goal was reviewed and referee Marc Joannette waved off the goal saying Etem made a kicking motion with his skate to score.
Shortly after the missed opportunity, Anaheim was able to put the first point of the board with a goal by Teemu Selanne. With a three on two opportunity, Kyle Palmieri threaded the needle to Selanne, who flicked it in. This put the Ducks ahead 1-0 but not for long.
The Red Wings took advantage of some poor defense by Francois Beauchemin and Sheldon Souray. Beauchemin missed intercepting a pass from Detroit’s Brandan Smith which led to Justin Abdelkader cutting past Souray to score at 13:36.
After a penalty was called on Ryan Getzlaf for hooking, the Red Wings again were in the Ducks zone going for another score. Off a shot from Damien Brunner, the rebound went right to Pavel Datsyuk for an easy one timer. Viktor Fasth made the first two saves going from right to left but couldn’t make it back to the right one more time.
The first period coming to a close, the Ducks were fortunate enough to get a five on three chance. With good numbers in their favor, the Ducks could not capitalize on the power play. Detroit’s defense stood strong and Howard was making unbelievable saves on great opportunities from the Ducks. At the end of the first period, the Ducks had a three shot advantage on the Red Wings and won almost 60% of face-offs.
In the second period the Red Wings continued their momentum by making the best out of their shots on goal. Only four minutes into the second period, Abdelkader struck again by roofing a shot over Fasth’s shoulder. After Abdelkader’s second goal of the night, Fasth was pulled by Bruce Boudreau.
Boudreau on pulling Fasth, “I didn’t think Viktor was really sharp and I said to myself, ‘If they score early in the second period, I’m going to shake it up.’” According to Fasth, none of his prior injuries affected his performance tonight.
Even with Jonas Hiller as the new goalie it still did not stop the Red Wings from putting the puck in the net. Just inside of eight minutes, Datsyuk poked the puck away from Selanne and passed it to Johan Franzen. Franzen then flicked it across the ice to Abdelkader for his third goal of the game.
Struggling with getting the puck past Howard, frustration started to set in for the offense. Trying to provide a spark for his team, Getzlaf threw down the gloves and started fighting with Jonathan Ericsson in the last moments of the second period. When the clock expired Palmieri got into another brawl with Brian Lashoff. Palmieri was standing up for his teammate, Selanne, who was getting shoved after the play.
With a three goal lead entering the third period, the Red Wings pushed to stretch their lead to four goals. Sliding the puck into the Ducks zone, Franzen got a rebound and tried to pass it to Abdelkader but it was tapped by Bryan Allen of the Ducks into the goal.
Even though the Ducks continued to out-shoot the Red Wings, the shots were not being rewarded with goals.
“He was good. He made some big saves. But I don’t think we threw the kitchen sink at him,” said Cam Fowler about Howard.
In the closing minutes of the game, things started to get extremely hostile when Bobby Ryan got checked hard twice putting him on his back. The game was already out of hand and Ryan was already frustrated with the game’s outcome. So for the third time in the game, a fight ensued with Ryan and Smith.
The game ended in a 5-1 loss for the Ducks ending their home winning streak at 13 games. “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.
At the end of the game, Ducks out-shot the Red Wings 34 to 23 but the Red Wings capitalized on their opportunities. Anaheim was 0 for 3 on power plays while Detroit was 1 for 2 in the same situation. The next game for the Ducks is on Sunday night against the Red Wings.