Tonight's win felt good. The score (2-1) does not indicate the dominant level of play by Detroit thanks to the superb goaltending efforts of the Anaheim duo. The Wings outshot the Ducks 47 to 16, which is much more indicative of the team's performance than the final score. J.S. Giguere, who has been a thorn in Detroit's side all of these years, made 37 saves in the first two periods. In the first frame, he robbed Pavel Datsyuk who had a seemingly wide open net but Giguere was somehow able to get his leg over and the bottom of his skate stopped the puck. Giguere suffered severe cramps during the second intermission due to dehydration and was consequently pulled from the game. Jonas Hiller entered the game in the third where he made eight saves, but allowed the first shot he faced.
Marian Hossa's game-winning goal was a thing of beauty. Teammate Dan Cleary had brought the puck down the ice on a two-on-one and fired off a pass from above the face-off circle to Hossa, who held onto the puck for a second before launching a rocket of a shot, which ended up going through Hiller's five-hole.
Anaheim got on the board first just 1:50 into the first period. There was a loose puck around Detroit's net thanks to a miscue on the Wings' part and Chris Kunitz, who was later named the third star of the game, scooped it up and put it behind goaltender Chris Osgood. Ozzie made 15 saves in the outing and got an "Ozzie, Ozzie" chant from the crowd at the Joe during the third period.
Detroit wouldn't get on the scoreboard until 14:26 into the second period when Johan Franzen tipped in a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from just inside the blue line. Henrik Zetterberg had brought the puck behind the Ducks' net and backhanded a pass to Lidstrom, who promptly launched a hard shot that Franzen deflected into the Anaheim net to tie the game at one goal apiece.
My favorite moment of the night game came with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. Ducks' defenseman Chris Pronger had cross checked Zetterberg in the back near the boards resulting in a penalty. The crowd at the Joe first applauded madly as this hated player headed to the sin bin. As he neared the penalty box, the fans in attendance started loudly booing. Now, the fans had booed Pronger just about every time he had touched the puck Monday night, but this was a much higher level than those instances and it warmed my heart.
Christy's Wings Player of the Game: Marian Hossa
Yes, I picked him for the second time in three games, but what can I say? His 14th goal of the season was the second straight Wings' game that his goal broke a third period tie according to the Detroit Free Press.
|2008 - Marian Hossa||24||14||13||27||9||20||2||0||4||0||101||13.9|
Detroit gets a couple days off to practice before taking on the Vancouver Canucks at home on Thursday night.