DETROIT – The Anaheim Ducks came to the Motor City a bit disappointed in having given up home ice to the Red Wings. That outcome was a result of a 5-4 OT loss to the Wings in Anaheim. The Ducks certainly did ease their ill feelings with the thought they had rallied from down three goals to tie the game late and force the extra session.
Starting off as a tight affair the game turned on an ugly hit by Justin Abdelkader on defenseman Toni Lydman. The hit earned a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for Abdelkader and a certain investigation by the NHL on Sunday.
Nick Bonino broke through for the Ducks on the ensuing powerplay with only 18 seconds gone in the man advantage. He backhanded the puck after the initial shot was stopped Jimmy Howard in the Wings goal. The puck caromed to the edge of the crease and Bonino had an easy tap back for the goal. The goal came at 15:29 of the second.
The third period proved the real difference as the Ducks’ stronger legs took control of the game.
At 6:33 of the third Detroit was regrouping in their defensive zone and rookie Damien Brunner was looking to circle out of the zone near the blue line. Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf poked the puck off Brunner’s stick caught up to the puck in the high slot and avoided Howard’s desperate attempt at a poke check and slid the puck in the wide open net for a 2-0 lead.
“They scored, they got momentum on their side,” Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg told NHL Network. “Then I think we did what we had to do after that.
“The beginning of the third, I think we had some chances then unfortunately they scored shorthanded there.”
“Our penalty kill did a great job tonight,” Getzlaf told NBC Sports Network. “We took a lot of penalties in the start of that game, and they gave us a chance to stay in, as well as our goaltender.”
Rookie Emerson Etem converted a beautiful pass from veteran Teemu Selanne from behind the cage and wristed the shot past Howard for the 3-0 lead. Etem was left alone as Selanne skated the puck below the goal line.
Matt Beleskey finished the scoring with just over six minutes left i the game with a powerplay goal.
The Red Wings now face a near must-win match in game four to avoid a 3-1 series hole.
The Ducks’ Jonas Hiller stopped all 23 shots he faced for the shutout.
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