The Ducks and the Red Wings have met many times, in the regular and post season. While there have been plenty of memorable moments in games between these two teams, there were a couple new ones to add to the list.
A 4-0 shutout was particularly notable because the Ducks have never shut out Detroit at home. They have done it once before, in Detroit. That was in 1997.
Even sweeter than a rare shutout against the Red Wings was the game winning goal coming from Teemu Selanne. Goal #660 of his career was also his 1,400th career point. After passing fellow Finnish countryman Jari Kurri in points on Monday, Selanne added one more with Kurri present to witness.
At 8:52 of the second period, Selanne broke the scoreless tie by crashing the net and putting in Cam Fowler’s rebound behind Joey MacDonald.
Anaheim continued their offense in the middle period with a goal from Kyle Palmieri at 15:49 and Bobby Ryan at 18:55.
Palmieri, who had been recalled from Syracuse in light of Corey Perry’s shoulder injury, was inserted on the top line in Perry’s place. He thrived there and made the most of his opportunity. His second goal of the game at 1:22 of the third period just put the icing on the Ducks cake.
“It was an awesome night for me, and I think the whole team played well,” said 21 year old Palmieri. “My linemates are great players and they played great tonight. Guys like that are going to open up space for you. I think it’s just one of those things where I got a couple of lucky breaks and the puck was bouncing right on my stick. I was lucky enough to score two tonight, but confidence-wise, it definitely feels good. Hopefully going forward, I can keep making an impact on this team.”
Selanne, who is old enough to be Palmieri’s father, was also impressed with the youngster’s performance.
“Kyle is a great skater, and he’s got an unbelievable shot,” Selanne said. “He doesn’t really have any weaknesses. So the next step for the young guy is the confidence. He has all the tools and I’m expecting he’s going to be really, really good in this League. That was fun to watch when the young guys come in and have success.”
Jonas Hiller earned his 15th career shutout. Despite being injury laden and playing the second of back to back games, the Red Wings are always dangerous. Hiller had to make several amazing saves to keep everything out of his net.
“He made three unbelievable saves tonight or the game could have been tighter and gone differently,” was Detroit coach Mike Babcock’s assessment of Hiller.
The path from here does not get any easier for the Ducks, who truly have to remain undefeated for the remainder of the season. Even if they remain undefeated, the chances of making up 9 points in the standings to earn the 8th and final playoff spot seems miniscule to nonexistent.
Anaheim will meet up with the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, a team they are chasing in the standings. Another game destined to be lively and memorable, as it should be with all rivalries.