Wings won't panic after tough defeat
That was the feeling within the Red Wings’ dressing room on Sunday after the defending Stanley Cup champions dropped a 4-3 triple-overtime decision to the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena.
Sure, the Red Wings missed an opportunity to grab a 2-0 series lead -- they even had an overtime power play when Scott Niedermayer went off for tripping midway through the first extra period. But the Wings know this series is far from over as it shifts to Anaheim for Game 3 on Tuesday night.
"I think when you get on the flight and you’ve won the second game, you’re all pumped up about that," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said after his team lost for the first time in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. "In our experience, you just have to keep playing. I don’t think anybody came into this series thinking it was going to be a sweep or be easy."
The first hint came before the midway point of the opening period on Sunday, when Ryan Getzlaf – who leads the NHL with 13 points this postseason – erased a 1-0 deficit just 2:16 after Brad Stuart had opened the scoring. Chris Pronger – who was on the ice nearly as long as the goalies in Game 2 – quickly gave Anaheim the lead just 34 seconds later.
It was just another indication that the Wings were in for a fight -- not that they didn’t know.
That won’t change now that the series shifts to Anaheim for Game 3 on Tuesday night.
"It’s going to be loud in their building," said Detroit forward Marian Hossa, who was robbed by Jonas Hiller midway through the first overtime. "We just have to be prepared for the first 10 minutes and play our game."
They’ll also need more from star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who were held to a combined nine shots on goal in Sunday’s marathon loss. Zetterberg did set up Johan Franzen’s game-tying goal early in the third period, but Datsyuk – a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP – was held off the score sheet.
That won’t cut it against Anaheim, which has already knocked off the top-seeded San Jose Sharks in these playoffs.
"Your best players have to be your best players," Babcock said. "The good thing about those guys is they know what’s taking place thus far in the playoffs and in this series, and they know they have to be better. But we could all be better. We knew it was going to be hard. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of surprise about how the games have been played."
Chris Osgood agreed. The three-time Stanley Cup winner was very relaxed after Sunday’s loss and realizes now is no time to panic.
"It was a real good game … we just came out on the wrong end," said Osgood, who made 42 saves. "These games are total battles. We knew it was going to be like this. It’s not going to change when we go to Anaheim."
Author: Brian Compton | NHL.com Staff Writer