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Three Questions: Wings-Ducks

DRW.com analyzes Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals

Friday, 05.1.2009 / 10:21 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Ducks
Who was the Wings’ star of the game?

Captain Nicklas Lidstrom stole the show in Game 1 Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.  The Wings’ all-star defenseman took care of the defense AND the scoring as he led the Wings to a 3-2 win.  With 50 seconds remaining, Lidstrom fired a slapshot towards the Anaheim goal, and raced towards the slot.  Picking up his own rebound, Lidstrom beat goaltender Jonas Hiller five-hole to give the Wings the lead.  

It was Lidstrom’s second goal of the night.  The Wings’ captain scored at 14:24 of the second period, firing in a power-play goal to give Detroit a 2-1 lead at the time.  Lidstrom also picked up the primary assist on Johan Franzen’s goal in the first period, as Franzen rushed up the right-wing boards and beat Hiller in close.

On top of his scoring, Lidstrom was his usual self on the defensive side of the win.  He played for 27:15, three minutes of ice-time more then any other Red Wing, and second only to Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf (27:55) for the game.  Lidstrom was plus-one, and he picked up four shots on the night.  Even more impressive was that Lidstrom did all this without his usual defensive partner, as Brian Rafalski missed Game 1 with an upper-body injury.

What happened to Jiri Hudler?

Roughly halfway through the first period, Jiri Hudler got hit by Anaheim’s Mike Brown behind the play at the Detroit blue line.  Brown hit Hudler up high, and Hudler was bleeding and lying on the ice afterwards.  The officials gave Brown a five-minute major for interference, and a game misconduct.  Franzen scored on the power play, and it was a big momentum swing for the Wings.  Hudler was OK, he returned to the ice for the second period.

The hit on Hudler was one of many physical moments of Game 1.  The match-up was littered with face-washes and scrums in front of both goals, and hits were flying left and right.  It was expected; the Ducks are known as one of the more physical teams in the NHL.  In the regular season, the Ducks led the way with 82 five-minute major penalties called, and the Red Wings were last with 12.  But the Wings didn’t shy away from the rough stuff Friday night, leading the game in hits 36-24.  And Jonathan Ericsson dropped the gloves with the Ducks’ Corey Perry, landing a few punches, and hauling him to the ground. 

What was the key to Game 1?


With all the rough play throughout the contest, Game 1 was decided by the special teams’ play.  The Wings had 10:47 worth of five-on-three advantages, and they scored two goals on six chances.  The Ducks picked up a power-play goal of their own, but it came on a rare four-on-three opportunity.  The Wings utilized the special teams as momentum changers, especially when Franzen scored on the five-minute major issued to Brown in the first.   Anaheim came out flying in the first, and had picked up the early lead.  Franzen brought the Wings, and the Joe Louis Arena crowd, right back into the game with the power-play marker.  Most importantly, however, was that the Wings didn’t give the Ducks any chances on the power play late; the Wings stayed out of the box for the entire third period. 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89