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Venue: Honda Center; Anaheim, CA
Time: 10:00 PM EST
Television: Detroit- FSD; National- NBC Sports Network
The Red Wings did exactly what they needed to do in game six which was force a game seven. The manner in which they did it was the real issue. For the third game in a row, and the fourth in six games, the Red Wings and Ducks went to an overtime period after the Red Wings blew a late third period two goal lead.
The Red Wings once again jumped out in front late in the first period off of a beautiful backhanded shot by Pavel Datsyuk when he was able to cut into the center and get the shot past Jonas Hiller for his second goal of this series. Once again, the Red Wings were unable to add another goal to gain the two goal lead, and at the 11:31 mark of the second period, Kyle Palmieri was able to record his third goal of the series and tie the game at 1-1. From that point on the Red Wings controlled the first 15 minutes of the third period. They were able to use a powerplay goal from Henrik Zetterberg, his first of the series, to pull ahead 2-1 6:19 into the third period. Only five minutes later, they were able to add another goal when Dan Cleary scored his second goal of the series to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead with only 9:30 remaining in the game. It did not take long for the wheels to fall off for the Red Wings, as only five minutes after they scored the goal to go ahead by two, Anaheim came back with a goal by Emerson Etem to cut the lead to one with 4:28 remaining in the game. Only 51 seconds later, Bobby Ryan scored his second goal of the series to tie the game and suck all of the air out of Joe Louis Arena.
For the third game in a row, the Red Wings were going to have their fate decided by overtime. A goal by Anaheim and the Red Wings season would be done, whereas a goal by the Red Wings, and they return to Anaheim for a game seven. It only took just over a minute into the overtime period for a winner to be decided. After a faceoff win by Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall sent a pass over to Henrik Zetterberg, who was able to take a slap shot that beat everybody, including Hiller, for the game winning goal.
The Red Wings did not take any penalties in game six, which is crucial to their success. Anaheim has a top five powerplay unit, and have been fairly successful on the powerplay in this series. The Red Wings went 1-3 on the powerplay which also is important if they are to capture game seven as Anaheim's penalty kill ranks only towards the middle of the league.
The travel in this series has taken a toll on both teams and so has the fact that their have been four overtime games. The Red Wings will look to jump out to the early lead once again, but it will help if they are able to jump out to an early two goal lead to take some pressure off of maintaining a one goal lead throughout the game.
The Red Wings will continue to turn to Jimmy Howard in net for game seven which should come as no surprise to anyone. Despite giving up the two late goals, Howard played strongly in game six and will look to carry over last start into this one. The Red Wings will be taking Corey Emmerton out of the lineup and replacing him with Patrick Eaves to get some more grit in the lineup. Behind Abdelkader, Eaves has the second most hits for the Red Wings this series.
The Ducks will once again look to Jonas Hiller in net to bounce back after a tough overtime loss after his team was able to tie the game up late in the third. Hiller has played very well this series and is the main reason that his team has not been eliminated yet.
Players To Watch:
- Henrik Zetterberg was able to collect his first two goals of the series in game six including the game winner in overtime. He was ale to add an assist for three points and will be looking to continue the surge in game seven. Perhaps the two goals was what Zetterberg needed to ignite him for a strong offensive game seven.
- Jimmy Howard will need to come out strong in game seven after giving up the two goal lead late in game six. A few early big saves will be just what he needs to build up his confidence for a strong game seven.
- Jonas Hiller will also need to come back strong after giving up the game winning goal only a minute into overtime. Having the home crowd behind him should help as he won't have to face jeers at every moment of the game like Howard will.
- Kyle Palmieri has been a steady offensive force for the Ducks this series, only enhancing the Ducks depth at forward. He has three goals this series, and all have been big goals. He just becomes another player the Red Wings must contain to win game seven.
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