The Red Wings drop game 1 of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals to the Ducks by a 3-1 score.
The Red Wings finally came out of the gate and played the way they should have in a first period the entire season. They hit, blocked, whacked, and shot the entire period. The scoring would be opened about halfway through the period, on an Anaheim power play. Directly off the faceoff, Nick Bonino redirected the puck off a shot from Cam Fowler at the blue line. It slid in neatly beside Jimmy Howard just 3 seconds into the power play, at 10:24 of the period for a 1-0 Ducks lead. Going into the latter portion of the period, the Red Wings evened up the score on a power play of their own. Coming off a 5-on-3, the puck was thrown towards Jonas Hiller, and deflected off of Daniel Cleary’s body and under Hiller’s 5-hole at 16:05 for their first of the game, tying 1-1. Anaheim held a lead in shots, 7-6.
The second period was a defensive and penalty killing battle from both sides, to compliment great play by both goaltenders. The period would end scoreless, but the Red Wings would carry over almost 1:30 of penalty kill time to the third for a delay of game penalty to Jakub Kindl, who fired the puck over the glass in his own end. Anaheim continued to hold the lead in shots, 17-11.
The third period was a flurry of penalties and defensive play on both ends. While they generated a couple of good scoring chances, the Wings had a hard time converting on them and getting the puck past Hiller. They would pull Howard with a little over a minute left. On a bad draw, though, Ryan Getzlaf got the puck back to Francois Beauchemin, who threw it down the ice and into the open Wings net at 19:38 for the final goal of the game, finishing it out 3-1.
While they’re showing they can elevate their physical game when they need to, the Red Wings need to generate more offense, and convert on some of the great scoring chances they’re producing. Not being able to push the puck through the neutral zone, or even barely out of their defensive zone, will not win you games, especially in the playoffs. We also can’t be taking costly penalties at bad times. (Looking at you, Kindl).
Playoff games for this series are every other night. So they’ll be back at it again in Anaheim Thursday night.