Nights like this are nights when those losses in October and November sting even more.
On the back end of back-to-back nights, after a great comeback against the best team in the NHL, the Red Wings faced a goaltender in Jonas Hiller that was nearly perfect.
The Red Wings had 78 attempts on goal, with 47 of them on net, but only Pavel Datsyuk was able to get anything past Hiller, and the Red Wings lost 3-1 to the Ducks in Anaheim.
Bobby Ryan, Ryan Whitney, and Kyle Chipchura each scored for the Kings, who close to three points behind the Red Wings. Combine this with the Flames 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes, and the Wings sit tied with Calgary with 64 points (though the Red Wings have a game in hand).
Hiller, who moved up to the number one slot this season, sending Jean-Sebastien Giguere to Toronto, made a number of spectacular saves. Jimmy Howard made 27 saves, but on a night when the other goaltender was standing on his head, it simply wasn't enough.
Just 71 seconds into the game, Ryan Getzlaf was along the far boards on the goal line when he passed it out to the blue line to Whitney. Whitney took a shot that deflected off Brad Stuart and got past Howard on the first shot of the game. Ryan picked up the second assist.
Then Steve Eminger took a cross-ice pass from Todd Marchant at the blue line and fired it at the net. The puck went off the hand of Chipchura, then went into the net. The play was reviewed in Toronto, but they ruled that Chipchura moved his hand after the puck hit his hand, giving Chipchura his fourth of the season.
In the second period, Getzlaf was close to the far board when he saw Ryan standing eight feet away from the front of Howard. He sent the puck to him for a relatively easy tap-in to get his 25th of the season, leading the Ducks. Corey Perry also earned an assist on the play.
The Red Wings would get on the board late in the period. Saku Koivu was in the penalty box on a hooking penalty, and on the first shot the Wings had, they capitalized: Brian Rafalski brought the puck from the opposite end, then made a sweet pass to a streaking Datsuyk, who beat Hiller with a shot that went upstairs to get his 15th of the season, tying Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom for the team lead.
The Red Wings finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Ducks were 0-for-2.
Detroit is off until Saturday, when they face the Los Angeles Kings on game three of their road trip.
Player of the game: Pavel Datsyuk. In addition to his goal, he had an almost identical chance that was robbed by Hiller.