It was all Anaheim early, and the Ducks made it count. The Wings couldn't get much going in the first period, and two questionable goals sucked whatever life was left in the Wings right out of them.
Saku Koivu opened the scoring, with a shorthanded goal at 5:37 of the opening period. Jimmy Howard thought he had the puck squeezed between his legs, but it trickled behind him and just like that, it was 1-0. The Red Wings were the final team in the NHL to allow a shorthanded tally.
Two minutes later, Matt Beleskey scored his first NHL goal on a wrister with assists from Sheldon Brookbank and Brett Festerling. The fourth liner saw his strong effort rewarded by spending some shifts with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Getzlaf was returning to the lineup after missing time with a knee injury.
It wasn't until 9 minutes remained in the game that the Wings got on the board. Valtteri Filppula scored after a Nicklas Lidstrom shot rebounded off of Jonas Hiller's pads. Playing in only his third game back from a wrist injury, Flip seemed to be one of the only Red Wings that was interested in playing tonight. The boys in red and white seemed to be playing flat from the opening faceoff.
Two minutes after Flip gave some hope to Red Wings fans, Corey Perry made it 3-1. Jimmy Howard was fighting the puck all night, and though he made some saves, he never seemed to get his feet under him. Not a strong game for the guy that Mike Babcock has shown a ton of confidence in. I wouldn't be surprised to see Chris Osgood in net on Thursday.
Kyle Chipchura would score an empty netter, and the final score was 4-1.
Two sets of fighting majors tonight: Doug Janik and Troy Bodie went in the first period, followed by Derek Meech and Petteri Nokelainen in the second. There were two other bouts, resulting in roughing penalties only: Brad May and Sheldon Brookbank, and Todd Bertuzzi and Bobby Ryan.