For the Detroit Red Wings, the goal coming into tonight was simple: Find a way to solve Jonas Hiller. Five goals later, Hiller was on the bench and the Red Wings had scored more goals than even Brad Watson could take away. It was a statement game for the Wings, who marched to a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks, squaring this Western Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.
The Wings knew that jumping on the Ducks early would be key, but that theory went out the window within the first minute, as Chris Pronger broke out Corey Perry down the right side boards, allowing Perry to beat Chris Osgood with a wrist shot only 42 seconds into the game. With a raucous crowd fully behind the Ducks, the Wings would need an answer, and Johan Franzen would deliver, beating Hiller with a wrist shot between the pads at 11:49 of the first. It would be Franzen who would deliver again, this time on a redirection of a Niklas Kronwall shot with just over 30 seconds remaining in the period, giving the Wings a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
However, the Ducks would bounce back just over halfway through the second period, when Corey Perry netted his second goal of the night, beating Osgood with another wrist shot over the glove. But it would be the Wings who would answer back less than five minutes later, when Marian Hossa would net his first goal of the series, beating Hiller with a wrist shot at 16:03 of the second period. After a Francois Beauchemin penalty late in the period, Hossa would join the "two goal" parade, beating Hiller on a one-timer through a Franzen screen to give the Wings a 4-2 lead after two periods.
Hiller's night would finally come to an end 2:46 into the third period, when Mikael Samuelsson finished an odd-man rush with a wrist shot just under the crossbar to push the Wings lead to 5-2. After allowing five goals on 33 shots, Hiller would be replaced by Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The Ducks would try and fight back, getting a power play goal from Scott Niedermayer, but Henrik Zetterberg's empty net goal with 2:33 to play would shut the door on a Ducks comeback.
Chris' Red Wing of the Game
Even though Johan Franzen had a three point night tonight, I have to give the nod to Hoss. He has struggled throughout this entire series, and had his game tying goal in Game 3 waved off by referee Brad Staurt. Yet, Hossa still found a way to channel his energy tonight, netting two goals, and nearly completing the hat trick.
#81 / Right Wing / Detroit Red Wings
Jan 12, 1979
Game 5 takes place on Sunday back at Joe Louis Arena. Puck drops at 5:00 PM, and the game will be shown on FS Detroit and the NHL Network.