Red Wings come up big, taking a must-win Game 4 by a score of 3-2, tying the series once again.
While they got out to a slow start again, the Red Wings played like a team in desperation mode once they got their legs. The early slump cost them, though, as 5:07 into the game, on a miscue between Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith, Quincey let the puck sit under his legs and it was stolen right next to the net by the Ducks. After a small flurry of saves by Jimmy Howard, Matt Beleskey got the final rebound and put it home for the first goal of the game. The remainder of the period was scoreless, and the Red Wings led the period in shots 13-8.
Second period was a defensive battle on both ends. The Red Wings’ penalty kill was tested and rose to the occasion to keep the Ducks further off the board, with some spectacular help from Howard. Red Wings continued to dominate in shots on goal, 27-15.
Offense for both sides exploded for both sides in the third period. Just 1:18 into the period, Smith let loose a wild slapshot from the point that deflected off of 2 Ducks on its way to the goal before finding its way through Jonas Hiller’s 5-hole to finally tie the game 1-1. Daniel Cleary picked up the assist. Halfway through the period, the Ducks would answer. From a bad play by Brian Lashoff, who collided into Howard after the puck was played behind the net, David Steckel was able to tap in the loose puck into the open net at 10:40 that Howard couldn’t get across to save after the collision. Shortly after, after a waved-off Wings goal, Pavel Datsyuk brought the puck into the zone with great speed, letting loose an absolute laser of a shot from the faceoff circle that beat Hiller high and ricocheted off the back bar of the goal, hitting so hard that piece of debris broke off of Hiller’s bottle. The goal was at 13:27 and assisted by Smith. A hard fought last few minutes would result in no more goals and the game would move to overtime.
Shortly into the overtime period, the officials called Joakim Andersson for a high stick on Corey Perry, but on watching the replay it was seen that Perry’s stick came up and hit himself in the face. Luckily the Wings were able to kill off the needless penalty. Late in the period, off of an initial save from Hiller, Damien Brunner came in on the rebound and buried it high over Hiller for the game-winning goal at 15:10, tying the series at 2-2.
They finally fought it out. They didn’t give up when they were down. They need to do this every time they play. Block shots, get to the net, drive in dirty goals. This is playoff hockey.
Next game is Wednesday night at 10pm in Anaheim. See you then, Nation.