Detroit dropped the puck on a brand new NHL season and took the game from the Ducks in convincing fashion with a 4-0 win. Johan Franzen put the Wings on the board first as he banked a shot off Jonas Hiller and into the net from along the boards. Todd Bertuzzi was in front of Jonas Hiller along with a Ducks defenseman and Valtteri Filppula's pass back to Franzen along the boards left Hiller out of the loop with the puck location.
Mike Modano scored his first goal as a Red Wing about 24 seconds later as he collected a pass from Dan Cleary in the slot and ripped one past Hiller's glove side for a quick 2-0 Detroit lead. Pavel Datsyuk scored in the second period as he deflected a Henrik Zetterberg slap-pass through Hiller for a 3-0 lead at 5:29 of the second period.
Cleary scored the fourth goal of the night on a controversial call as he was streaking to the net and knocked the puck in past Hiller. Cleary knocked the net off the moorings right as the puck went over the line so the call went to Toronto for review and it was decided that the net wasn't fully off as the puck crossed. Thus, a good goal.
The Ducks had a play that probably could have been called a goal as it appeared to be under Jimmy Howard as he fell back into the net but the play wasn't reviewed and Howard ended up with the shutout in the 4-0 game. The game got really physical and chippy in the second and third periods. Speaking of, Pavel Datsyuk dropped the gloves with Corey Perry midway through the third period. Datsyuk held his own in the fight with Perry. Yes, the four-time Lady Byng winner had a Gordie Howe hat trick. Sheldon Brookbank and Brad Stuart also dropped the gloves in the third period and the two teams racked up 70 penalty minutes in the final two periods.
Video and bulleted analysis points after the jump.
- This third line is going to be pretty good this year. Cleary, Modano and Hudler worked pretty well together tonight and had some good energy all game long. The trio combined for 12 shots on goal, 5 each from Cleary and Modano.
- Speaking of lines being good, that second line is going to be really good. Filppula, Franzen and Bertuzzi were pretty well coordinated with their attack plan tonight and all registered a point on Franzen's goal. Franzen is clearly the scoring threat on this line as he had the best chances on net during the game and totaled 6 shots. Filppula had a few miscues with the puck in the first but otherwise he played well distributing the puck.
- Back to Cleary, heck of a game from him. Work hard all game long and finished the night with a goal and an assist and the 5 shots on goal (and a shot that rang off the post).
- Niklas Kronwall played 25:31 minutes of ice time, the most of any Detroit skaters. He played pretty well all game long on the third pairing. He should continue to work well with Salei.
- Tonight's game just furthered how much I hate the Ducks. Bunch of cheap crap after the plays and typical Anaheim tactics when behind on the scoreboard.
- Jimmy Howard played pretty well in net tonight but he honestly wasn't tested all that much as the Red Wings outshot the Ducks 43-21. Howard didn't have all that many tough tests during the game but stopped the ones that were tough. Thus, the reason for a shutout.
- How about the ovation that Mike Modano got from the Detroit fans after scoring that goal? Pretty good to hear to welcome him to the family.
- As for welcoming someone to the family, Ruslan Salei was pretty solid tonight as well and showed that he was willing to jump in to defend his teammates.
- Jonathan Ericsson left tonight's game early with back spasms, looks like Jakub Kindl will replace him in the line-up tomorrow. Ericsson played okay tonight but only played for 5:11 before leaving.
#13 / Center / Detroit Red Wings
Jul 20, 1978