Detroit Defeats Anaheim 3-2 in OT

This could be a long series.  With Detroit taking game four in overtime, the series between the Ducks and Red Wings is tied at two.  Game five is going to be huge, because whoever wins only needs one more.  Whoever loses has to win the next two. 

If Anaheim is going to win game five, they are going to have to get more effort from some of their players.  After the loss in game four, coach Bruce Boudreau termed some of the players "passengers."

Every single player will have to be in the driver's seat on Wednesday night. 

One person who was not a passenger was Jonas Hiller.  Hiller made 46 saves in the 3-2 loss and could not be faulted for his efforts, even though he could not stop the eventual game winner.

Hiller had stopped Gustav Nyquist shot, but the rebound went off defenseman Bryan Allen and lay right in front of the goal crease.  Damien Brunner easily finished off the shot and the game at 15:10 of the overtime period.

"It is a tough call for the goalie," said Boudreau. "He's got to anticipate who is going to win the race and evidently he didn't know. It was a 50-50 shot, so it is better to stay in the net. I mean, he made the save — it's the other five guys on the ice that didn't pick up Brunner coming in."

Matt Beleskey actually got the scoring started at 5:07 of the first period.   Jimmy Howard left three rebounds and the Ducks converted.  Andrew Cogliano got the assist and it was his first playoff point in his career.

"I'm just trying to get in front of the net and cause some havoc," said Beleskey, who has been versatile and used on the top line and the fourth line and even on the power play.

The Red Wings, intent on not going back to Anaheim with a 3-1 series deficit, poured it on.

"We knew exactly the kind of game they were going to play," said Cam Fowler.  "They said what they were going to do and that's exactly what they did.  I think to be honest we were caught off-guard and a little on our heels. [Hiller] kept us in it the whole night."

Despite exceptional work from Detroit, the Ducks were still ahead going into the third period.   But at 1:18 Brendan Smith finally got a puck past Hiller.  The Wings were relentless and with a goal, they were even more determined.

David Steckel gave Anaheim back the lead at 10:42 with another rebound that Howard left lying around. 

"It was a real good game for [Steckel]," said Boudreau. "Some of the lesser-lights played really good and some of the guys you expect to be really good weren't as good as you like and that's unfortunate."

One of the guys you expect to really good for Detroit is Pavel Datsyuk and he was the hero who tied up the game at 13:27 with a shot that ripped so hard in and out of the net that it was initially unclear if it went in.  

Detroit had a great opportunity less than a minute before that with a puck that came very, very close to going over the goal line, but Hiller managed to miraculously keep it in.   The goal camera confirmed it was no goal, as it had been called on the ice. 

The Ducks had plenty of chances, including a couple of good ones by Corey Perry, who has been snake bit so far in this series.   The game still went to OT, but you knew it was only a matter of time with the way the Red Wings poured it on. 

So who will be the hero or heroes in game five and who gets to go back to Detroit with the 3-2 lead in the series?  Tune in Wednesday night to find out.  If the game is like the rest of them in this series, it will be another nail biter.

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.