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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80