Well, Duck. Anaheim Gives Detroit Its First Loss 3-1.

We are back for game three of the young season, and Detroit is 2-0. Anaheim is also 2-0, and going into the season, very few people would have picked either team to be 3-0 after three games, but one will be. Which one? Let’s find out.

First Period

We have puck drop, and it’s not a dream. Athanasiou is back in the lineup. I’m pretty sure that he was involved in a scoring chance, but I was distracted by thinking that Dallas Eakins looks like if David Tennant played Mr. Bean.

Mike Green got the game’s first good scoring chance. Through the first five minutes, neither team has stood out.

As Ken Daniels has been pointing out on the telecast, Anaheim is playing a more high-pressure system this season, which has me concerned. Detroit hasn’t played well against teams that ratchet up the pressure the past few seasons, and this year has looked no different.

Filppula and Erne headed in on a two-on-one just before the first tv timeout, but Erne went in a little offside.

The first sustained zone pressure was by the Athanasiou - Glendening - Hirose line. They had several good chances, and Detroit is starting to take over the game twelve minutes in.

AA nearly scored his first goal of the season on his first good chance. He took a page from Mantha’s playbook and drove around his man before not being able to beat Gibson. (Obviously, this is something that Athanasiou does more often than Mantha).

Mantha tried to hit Larkin as the trailer on a play, but the puck was turned over and looked to lead to a 3 on 1. Larkin was able to interfere with his man just enough to get the puck away but not enough to draw a penalty. To be honest, I wouldn’t have complained about a penalty. I think he got away with one there.

At the end of the first period, the score remains 0-0. Detroit outplayed Anaheim for much of the first period, but they also made some mistakes that a better team would have capitalized on. At this point, I guess I’m a little surprised at how bad Anaheim is, especially since they are 2-0.

Second Period

Mantha nearly had a goal on the first shift, deflecting a shot-pass from Mike Green that just missed.

Dennis Cholowski took the first penalty of the game for hooking, and based on the replay it’s hard to argue the call.

Howard has to make a big save on a rebound that he should have better controlled. It’s at least the second time so far tonight he’s left a juicy rebound that he should have corralled. Detroit kills the rest of the penalty, and the score remains 0-0 with just under 5 minutes played.

Oh man! Dylan Larkin cranked one off the post after Tyler Bertuzzi picked a defender’s pocket and put the puck right into #71’s path. Just after that, Madison Bowey’s stick comes up on Max Jones and clips him in the face. Anaheim goes right back to the power play.

Anaheim had some decent puck movement, but nothing particularly scary on this power play, and with 12 minutes left, Bowey leaves the box.

Bertuzzi with another takeaway, and he’s been a big part of that top line’s success this season. Detroit will go to the game’s first power play as Anaheim so blatantly has too many men on the ice that everyone in the arena saw it.

Bertuzzi nearly scored a highlight reel goal. Hopefully they’ll show a replay, but it looked like he tried the stick between the legs shot. After seeing a replay, yes. Yes, he did.

I’m not going to have the time this season to do the weekly power play series again, and right now, I’m really glad for that. It has not looked good this season. Pretty much when the referee raises his arm, this is my reaction:

Cholowski had two good shots from the point with 2 minutes left. Each was deflected for dangerous chances, but none found the net. Athanasiou made a fantastic feed to Hronek who hit the goalpost! The puck stayed in the zone and another goalpost by Hronek!

GOAL! The third time was the charm as Hronek blew one by Gibson and missed both goalposts!

We head to the third period with Detroit up 1-0.

Third Period

Detroit takes a penalty for hooking, and Jeff Blashill is chewing his gum so hard I worry for his poor teeth.

Anaheim had several good chances, with one particularly good chance near the end. Abdelkader saved a goal by diving to get his stick on a rebound.

We have a tie game. Bertuzzi turned the puck over at the defensive blue line. Howard made the first save on the ensuing chance, but the puck then bounced off Rakell, who was going to the net. 1-1 game with 15 minutes left.

Man, that was a really bad turnover.

But he makes up for it! Bertuzzi fed Mantha on a breakout pass. Bertuzzi took the return pass and deked around a defender. He fanned on the shot, but Larkin got the rebound and put it into an open net. Anaheim challenges for offside, and they’re right. The first replay they showed was clear, unfortunately.

And it’s 2-1 Anaheim. A shot didn’t get through to Howard, but the puck fell for Nick Ritchie to bang it into the net.

Remember how at the end of the first period, I said that a better team would have punished Detroit? It looks like a bad team like Anaheim is capable of doing it as Silfverberg scores to make it 3-1.

Just before the goal, Ken Daniels said that the shot attempts were 14-1 Anaheim, and it sure feels like that. Detroit’s been pretty thoroughly outplayed this period.

Dylan Larkin takes the puck through the neutral zone with speed. He’s hauled down, and Detroit will go back to the power play.

Nothing happened except Mantha was so angry at their shift that he forgot how doors work and needed several tries to close the bench door.

We come back from commercial with 3:30 left in regulation. Howard goes to the bench 30 seconds later after Gibson freezes a Mantha shot.

Bertuzzi gave the puck away again, leading to a clear and a bad icing call. I’ll take it, but it should have 100% been waved off. Anaheim ices the puck again shortly after. And again.

You might think that with the goalie pulled with 3:00 left that Detroit would have a bunch of good chances in the last 3 minutes. You’d be wrong.

Detroit really played poorly in the third period and deserved the loss. We’ll see how they respond against Montreal on Thursday.