Home ice advantage in the playoffs is one of the hockey world’s greatest intangibles. It’s impossible to define properly, but it affects every player on the ice. In the playoffs the number 1 thing you want to do is play the perfect road game, tonight, Anaheim did just that. Taking a 2-1 series lead after an impressive 4-0 win in Detroit.
Two minutes into the first period Nick Bonino was absolutely robbed by Jimmy Howard. We’re talking darting arms and flashing leather. It was a thing of beauty, and one of many beautiful saves that both goalies were primed to make tonight. The first period was plagued by goalies deciding they wanted to put a stop to pucks going in the net.
Even the second period was largely slowly going thanks to some impressive saves coming from Jonas Hiller and Jimmy Howard. That was of course until a leaping hit from Justin Abdelkader put Toni Lydman down to the ice hard. While it’s a play that is sure to be reviewed by the Department of Player Safety, it did mean another power play chance for the Ducks. And this time, Nick Bonino would not be denied. A short 18 seconds after the penalty, the Ducks took a 1-0 lead to close out the second. There’s something that these hits and injuries stir in players because in the third period the Ducks came out with a little added fire.
On a Red Wings power play, a poor defensive turn over ended as a feast for the formerly mighty Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf took full advantage of the flub and put him a shorthanded marker. While things looked bad for the Ducks at this point, 90 seconds later they looked a lot worse. Emerson Etem left all alone in the slot puts it into the twine the Ducks have silence the Detroit crowd to a tune of 3-0 mid way through the third.
Matt Beleskey would add a goal for the Ducks topping the score up at 4-0 and giving Hiller his first shutout of the post season. Being shutout on home ice is not how I imagine Detroit anticipated this game going. The Abdelkader hit gave this game an entirely different face, look for the Wings to bounce back in Game 4, the last thing they want to do is put themselves on the ropes heading back to Anaheim.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Jonas Hiller
2 – Teemu Selanne
3 – Emerson Etem
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