In spite of their two bench minors for too many men on the ice (inexcusable in a must win game) and two other power play chances they gave the Red Wings, Anaheim’s penalty kill kept Detroit’s power play at bay for 3 of their 4 chances. Anaheim’s power play (ranked 2nd in the postseason going into tonight’s game) was also successful 1 out of their 5 chances (though it was really more like 4, due to the overlapping penalties). Fortunately for Ducks fans everywhere, most of Anaheim’s 46 penalty minutes, 12 penalties) came at the 20 minute mark of the 3rd period when the gloves were dropped by just about everyone (Scott Niedermayer included). Until that point, the Ducks were even with the Red Wings in penalties at 5 (10 minutes each).
Jonas Hiller was amazing again, stopping 38 of the 39 shots he faced (97.4% of the shots). The Red Wings outshot the Ducks 39-28, but the Ducks played much better after the first period. Considering how poorly the Ducks played in Detroit on Sunday, I expected them to come out with all cylinders firing at the beginning of the game tonight. Apparently, they didn’t all get the message that the game time had been pushed up to 7 p.m. (all the previous playoff games in Anaheim had been at 7:30 p.m.). The Ducks came out looking a little tired, but by the end of the first they were still tied with the Red Wings and that was important. They came out strong in the 2nd and got the only two goals of the period, in spite of being outshot by the Red Wings in that period.
When the Red Wings scored their power play goal, a lot of Ducks fans got a bit nervous. A one goal lead is far from safe in the playoffs – especially against a strong team like the Red Wings. The Ducks held on to their lead and are ready to play their style of game again in Detroit Thursday night in game 7. In spite the pressure of a game 7 on the road, the players know this is what the playoffs are all about. The excitement of a game 7 is hard to match.
Thursday’s game will be the Ducks’ 4th game 7 in franchise history. They’re 2-1 in game 7s so far. The Joe Louis Arena is a difficult arena to face in the playoffs. In a game 7, it’s sure to be incredibly loud, but the Ducks are as prepared as possible and they’re ready to face Detroit and fight for their playoff lives. They know if they don’t win their season is over and no team is ever really ready for their season to end.
Ryan Getzlaf had a point in each of the Ducks’ 2 goals tonight (1-1), making tonight his 7th multi-point game of the postseason.
Fortunately for Ducks fans who couldn’t make it to Honda Center tonight, FSN Prime Ticket aired the game in HD (even for those of us unlucky enough to get only one of the FSN HD channels).