The Red Wings fall to 2-1 in the series with the Ducks, dropping a terrible effort of a game by a score of 4-0.
The beginning of this game was a defensive and goaltending battle all the way through. A flurry of penalties for both sides assured that the penalty kill was thoroughly tested, and they came up big each time. Jimmy Howard and Jonas Hiller were huge through the period, sending their teams to their dressing rooms scoreless through the period. Anaheim held a lead in shots, 13-7.
The second period got heated from both sides. The defensive battle continued through the period, and both sides started to bat and jaw each other, trying to draw responses. First blood was drawn when Justin Abdelkader laid a huge bone-shattering hit on Anaheim’s Toni Lydman, laying him down to the ground, and there was no call on the hit. Shortly after, once they realized Lydman wasn’t getting up, they blew the play and the officials all conferred with each other, then came away determining that it was a 5-minute charging major and a game misconduct, tossing him from the game. The Ducks would convert on the following power play, as Nick Bonino roofed the puck that was saved initially by Howard and then a scrum ensued in front of him. It was the only goal of the period, at 15:29, and the Ducks would leave the period with a 1-0 lead on the Red Wings, and a 22-16 lead in shots.
The third period didn’t bode any better for the Wings than the first two did. On a power play of their own, Damien Brunner was stripped of the puck in his own zone while awaiting a line change, Ryan Getzlaf took it towards the net. Jimmy Howard came out to poke it away, but was dangled by Getzlaf who puts it in the empty net shorthanded at 6:33. Shortly after, at 8:04, Teemu Selanne took the puck behind the Wing’s net, and backhanded a last minute pass to Emerson Etem, who one-timed the shot to Howard’s short-side and in for a 3-0 lead. On another power play, Matt Beleskey took a pass from Saku Koivu in front of the net and tipped in another power play goal at 13:34 for a 4-goal lead. That would end up being the final score of the game.
The penalty kill has gone back to being anemic. After being so good the first two games, (converting at 40%), they just looked lost tonight, and after being the best home-power play team in the league during the regular season. Special teams is going to be the story of this series, everyone can see that already. So if they don’t get themselves back on-point, they’re going to suffer greatly. And they need to stop with the costly turnovers in bad areas (looking at you, Brunner). Just a terrible effort all night.
Game 4 will be Monday night at the Joe again, with an 8:00 start time. See you then, Nation.