The Ducks played a good game, but it wasn’t good enough against the Detroit Red Wings. The Ducks outshot the Red Wings 41 to 29, the most shots any team has gotten through this season, but in the end it was the ones that went in that counted.
Detroit had four tallies and the Ducks had nothing to show for their efforts. Jimmy Howard earned his shut-out and had a terrific defense in front of him to help out when needed.
“I thought the score flattered us,” said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. “Howie was really good, and we scored some good goals at the net. We were able to score on some of our opportunities and they weren’t. It wasn’t a beautiful one tonight, but we’ll take the two points.”
Those opportunities for the Red Wings began at 1:09 of the first period with a goal from Johan Franzen. One turnover and a couple passes later, the puck was behind Jonas Hiller. That was essentially game over for Anaheim.
The Red Wings extended their lead with goals from Tomas Holmstrom and Dan Cleary late in the second period. Cleary leads the Red Wings in goals this season. Not Zetterberg. Not Datsyuk. Cleary. Can you say depth?
Adding insult to injury was a final goal from Valteri Filppula, who missed his first attempt, but came back to finally finish things off at 19:29 of the third period.
The Ducks were clearly frustrated, but saw some light at the end of their tunnel.
“We did a lot of good things in the hockey game,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. “We controlled a lot of the play. We weren’t able to find a way to score a goal. If we play as hard as we did tonight in every game this year and be as effective on our forecheck for stretches of the game, we’ll be alright.”
The Ducks next opportunity comes against Phoenix on Sunday night. If they continue to play well against Pacific Division opponents and put in the same effort as they did tonight, they should be rewarded for their efforts with more than a goose egg.
In other notes: Matt Beleskey was recalled from Syracuse as Aaron Voros has been put on IR with a very bad case of the flu. Usually flu is day to day, but Voros is so ill an IR placement is warranted.
Teemu Selanne was out again due to the same nagging groin issue that kept him out three games at the end of November.