It was the matchup that was going to be the hardest to call in the first round in the West. The Ducks finished second overall and looked strong, but the Red Wings in the playoffs are an entirely different beast than the regular season. Thanks to Henrik Zetterberg getting back his scoring touch and the return of Justin Abdelkader last game, the Wings down the Ducks 3-2 in the game, and 4-3 in the series
Detroit came out into this game buzzing. 1:49 into the first frame a point shot would be stop by the mass of bodies in front of Jonas Hiller, as they almost always are now. From that shot a loose puck would spring into the slot to the waiting Henrik Zetterberg who would snap it into the back of the net, 1-0 Wings. A Dan Cleary boarding penalty over half way through the first would give the Ducks at chance to even this up. In the remaining second of the power play, Emerson Etem breaks into the zone and rips one passed Jimmy Howard after the penalty had expire. No power play goal, but this game is tied 1-1. Wiht just under 5 to go in the period, Justin Abdelkader would intercept a cross ice pass and break in on the Ducks shorthanded. Not wasting his opportunity he goes 5 hole, giving the Wings back the lead into the dressing rooms.
The second period was defined by pressure. Both teams came out strong and fast trying to get this game even, or put it away. 13 minutes into the frame it would be the Wings that strike though. A backhand from Valtteri Filppula would beat Hiller, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead heading in to the third period.
While the second period was pressure, the third was defensive work. A combined total of 13 shots on net this period. A puck flipped over the glass by Zetterberg means with under 5 remaining the Ducks would take to the power play. 30 seconds into it, Francois Beauchemin would fire a backhand from just above the goal line that would deflect in front of the Wings net and in behind Howard. All the sudden this game was within 1, but time was ticking down. Unfortunately for the Ducks, time was not on their side as the Wings hang on through the final few minutes to advance to the Second Round.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Henrik Zetterberg
2 – Emerson Etem
3 – Jimmy Howard