If Game 2 of the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks Western Conference semifinal series is any indication of how this series is going to play out, it’s time to fasten the seatbelts and get out the antacid.
Following a back and forth regulation session and two overtime periods of intense and gritty hockey, Todd Marchant found the back of the net at 1:15 of the third overtime, lifting the Ducks to a 4-3 win, and evening the series up at one game apiece with the Red Wings. Goaltender Jonas Hiller rose to the occasion for the Ducks as well, stopping 59 shots while making sure that the Ducks wouldn't return to the West coast in an 0-2 hole.
The Wings would get on the board first when Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski inadvertently kicked the puck past Hiller, with Brad Stuart getting credit for the opening tally. It wouldn't take long for the Ducks to answer, as Ryan Getzlaf was able to slip one past a sprawled Chris Osgood just over two minutes later. Shortly after tying the game, the Ducks would find themselves on one of many early power plays, and Chris Pronger delivered, connecting from up top to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead. However, the Wings would even it up when Mikael Samuelsson flipped a backhander between Hiller's pads with just over six minutes to go in the period.
The second period offered more of the same physical, intense play that this series has come to embody, and it was Ryan Carter that would give the Ducks a 3-2 lead after pouncing on a loose rebound during a Ducks power play. The Wings continued to find themselves in penalty trouble throughout the second, but would get a power play of their own late in the period that they were unable to capitalize on before the intermission.
Finding themselves in the unfamiliar situation of trailing a playoff opponent heading into the third period, the Wings came out with increased pressure, taking the fight right to the Ducks. Their hard work would be rewarded at 5:19 of the third, when Johan Franzen took a centering feed from Henrik Zetterberg, and roofed the tying goal above the shoulder of Hiller.
In the first two overtime sessions, it was all about momentum, with both teams having some terrific scoring opportunities. But both Hiller and Osgood stood strong, making key saves to extend the game. Hiller was just a little bit better in the extra sessions, keeping the Wings at bay long enough for Marchant to net the winner.
Chris' Red Wing of the Game
A nice goal, plenty of hustle, and a team-high 10 SOG tonight.
#37 / Right Wing / Detroit Red Wings
Dec 23, 1976
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Both teams will have a day to rest up before reconvening at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Tuesday night. The puck drops at 10:30 PM local time and the game can be seen on FS Detroit, Versus or TSN depending on location.
As always, GO WINGS!