The Red Wings open hunting season on the Ducks, take them down 5-1.
Starting the game, it looked like the Red Wings were going to have their pace dictated for them again through the first period. Anaheim almost started the scoring at 6:45, when Emerson Etem put the puck into the net past Jimmy Howard, but it was determined that he kicked the puck with his heel, so the goal was disallowed. They wouldn’t let off, though, as they put it in again at 11:31 with a one-timer tip in from Teemu Selanne. The Wings would answer quickly, as Justin Abdelkader hammered in his 4th of the season at 13:36, tying the game at 1-1. The assists were given to Brendan Smith, and Jimmy Howard. Continuing with their power play successes, Pavel Datsyuk backhanded in a power play goal at 14:59, putting the Wings up 2-1, and giving him is 250th career goal. The penalty kill continued shining, killing off all of their calls.
Opening the scoring in the second was, again, Abdelkader at 3:06, putting home a one-timer from Johan Franzen past Viktor Fasth for his 5th of the season. Jonas Hiller would come in to replace Fasth in goal afterwards. Although they found a rough patch in their own zone for a bit, with a couple intentional icings, the story of the game was then told. Justin Abdelkader would take another pass from Franzen just outside the slot, and wristed home his 6th of the season at 12:46, and his first career hat trick. Pavel Datsyuk would pick up an assist for his 500th of his career (6th all-time amongst Red Wings), and his 750th career point. They’d enter the dressing room up 4-1.
The Red Wings fell into a great defensive Zen for the majority of the period, giving their best effort to keep the Ducks further off the scoreboard. They would get a lucky break at 15:17, as Johan Franzen tried to center a pass to Abdelkader in front of Hiller, and it bounced off of a Duck player’s stick and into their own net, for his 6th of the season. A bit of bad blood surfaced through the last half the of the game, as Jonathan Ericsson and Brian Lashoff at the end of the 2nd, and Brendan Smith at the end of the 3rd, were all involved in instigated fights. They would end the game by a resounding 5-1 score.
The Good: Abby. Abby Abby Abby. It looks like he’s finally finding his scoring touch, at just the right time with the playoffs right around the corner. The power play is also showing consistency, which was a detrimental part to many of their previous losses. It’s a very encouraging sight now.
The Bad: Not much, really. They still have moments where they struggle to get possession of the puck in their own zone, but their defensive play finds a way to save them.
The Ugly: White’s mustache. Seriously. Everytime I see him, I feel like I’m looking at a Hall & Oates album cover. This needs to change.
Both teams will get a night off, and then go at it again in the same place on Sunday afternoon. They need to carry this type of consistency with them.