Red Wings even up the quarterfinal series 1-1 heading home, by beating the Ducks in overtime 5-4.
The Red Wings came out looking like they learned what they did wrong in game 1, and applied a bunch of duct tape to it for this game. The opening of the game couldn’t have gone any better for them. Just 48 seconds into the game, Justin Abdelkader brought the puck through center ice into the offensive zone, and let off a wrist shot in the high slot that deflected off a Duck’s stick and past Jonas Hiller for their first of the game. Pavel Datsyuk picked up the lone assist. Shortly after, Damien Brunner took a pass in the middle of the slot from the boards from Kyle Quincey, and put home and wrister at 4:20 for the 2nd of the game and his 1st career playoff goal. The Ducks tightened up thereafter and kept any more goals off the board. Detroit would end the period trailing in shots by a margin of 12-8.
The Wings started the 2nd period on the power play, as Saku Koivu took a charging penalty at the end of the 1st. They’d pounce on the opportunity, as in the midst of a scrum for the puck in front of the net, Johan Franzen tipped in a loose puck sitting in the crease underneath Hiller just 1:04 into the period, to give the Wings a 3-0 lead. Brunner and Datsyuk picked up the assists. The Ducks wouldn’t respond till halfway through the period. On a power play of their own, Jimmy Howard made a great initial save off a shot from the point, but Koivu would be waiting to his left, and kicked in the rebound (with no review) for the Duck’s first goal of the game. The Red Wings would end the period up 3-1, but trailing in shots 21-17.
The 3rd period is in-arguably where everything fell apart. In the remaining time on the Wing’s power play, Franzen took a pass in front of the net and pushed it right past Hiller to make the score 4-1 only :20 into the period. The big lead would be very short lived though. At 7:50, Ryan Getzlaf took a pass in front of Howard and roofed a backhand over him to make the score 4-2. Shortly after, at 12:31, Kyle Palmieri wristed in a shot towards the Wing’s net that tipped its way through Howard’s elbow the bring the score within 1 goal at 4-3. The last goal of the period would, again, come from the Ducks at 17:38, as Bobby Ryan tipped in a quick pass to Howard’s short-side, bouncing the puck off his hip and into the goal to tie the game with a little over 2 minutes to play. A solid final stance from Hiller would ensure that the game found its way to overtime.
The overtime was short-lived. Starting on a power play, the Red Wings got the puck deep into the zone. Gustav Nyquist took the pass from Valtteri Filppula from behind the goal line on the boards to the net-front, and roofed a beautiful shot past Hiller for the game-winner and his first post-season goal of his career. Wings win 5-4.
They had a lead. A good lead. A demanding lead. All game, too. Third period rolls around and they squander it. This game should have never gone to overtime. Am I happy they won? You bet I am. That Nyquist goal was an absolute beauty. But they should never have put themselves in this situation. All negatives aside, the fact that Brunner got 3 points in his second NHL playoff game is awesome. He’s well more than living up to the hype. They need to re-group, tighten up their play, and then come back hard at the Joe on Saturday.
See you all then, Nation!