for this game

Power play gives Red Wings early edge in conference finals

May 12, 2007 - 5:44 AM
DETROIT (Ticker) -- They weren't conventional power-play goals, but they gave the Detroit Red Wings the upper hand in the Western Conference finals nonetheless.

Henrik Zetterberg netted a man-advantage tally in the first period and Tomas Holmstrom scored with the extra skater late in the third to snap a tie and lift the Red Wings to a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in the opener of their conference final series Friday.

Norris Trophy candidate Nicklas Lidstrom recorded two assists and Dominik Hasek made 31 saves for Detroit, which hosts Game Two on Sunday.

After making a nice play to set up Anaheim's lone goal early in the third, Ryan Getzlaf was called for slashing with 5:27 remaining in the period, giving Detroit just its fourth power play of the game. It took just 33 seconds to cash in.

From the left point, Lidstrom unleashed a slap shot that continued to rise on its way to the net. Battling defenseman Scott Niedermayer - also a finalist for the Norris Trophy - in front, Holmstrom lifted his hands to his head in order to prevent being hit.

The puck, however, did strike the Swede but fell to the ice and trickled past unsuspecting goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, crossing the goal line before diving defenseman Francois Beauchemin could stop it at 15:06 to give the Red Wings a 2-1 edge.

"I think it hit my stick or glove," Holmstrom said. "I felt like it hit the stick when I turned."

"It came in high, hit I guess Holmstrom, I don't know," Niedermayer said. "It bounced and rolled in. Beau tried to grab it. It was headed in, he might have touched it."

Only Giguere seemed to know for sure what happened on the play.

"It hit their guy in front of the net and I stopped the puck," he said. "Somehow, it ended up behind me. They got a good bounce, I guess."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle was more upset with the slashing call against Getzlaf than the winning goal.

"It was a retaliation play that sometimes goes unnoticed, and tonight they called it," Carlyle said. "But he did slash the player after the player slashed his hands. It was like he got caught with his hands in the cookie jar."

Detroit finished 2-for-4 on the power play against the top penalty-killing unit in the postseason but was forced to kill a pair of its own penalties in the latter stages to hold on.

Despite pulling Giguere for an extra attacker with over two minutes remaining, the Ducks managed just one shot on goal during the 6-on-4 advantage. They had a brief chance when Zetterberg fired the puck over the glass in his own zone with 14 seconds remaining but could not get the equalizer past Hasek, who made 13 saves in the period.

"What can you say?" Red Wings center Kris Draper asked. "He was unbelievable for us again."

"I thought Dom was outstanding," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Obviously, Z wanted to make it a little interesting there at the end, a one-more-crack-at-it kind of thing."

Hasek also had no shortage of kind words to describe his performance.

"I had a great game, that's all I can say," he said. "The next game, I want to play the same way."

Giguere turned aside 17 shots for Anaheim, which failed on each of its seven man advantages.

"They come with quite a bit of pressure, and we have to work as hard as they do," Niedermayer said. "That's the key."

"We just couldn't put the puck in the net on the power play," Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger added.

The Red Wings got on the scoreboard just 3:44 into the game on a fluke goal by Zetterberg. From the bottom of the right faceoff circle, the Swede attempted a cross-crease pass that deflected off Beauchemin's shin pad and past Giguere.

"It's kind of a lucky goal," Lidstrom admitted. "I think he was trying to pass to Homer and it went off one of their defensemen. It was kind of a lucky break for us, but we're creating chances. We're finally getting some breaks, too."

"They worked hard for their bounces, as did we," Getzlaf said. "They were fortunate enough to get them tonight and we weren't."

Despite the fact Zetterberg was passing, the tally resulted in Detroit's first official shot of the contest.

Anaheim had a golden opportunity to knot the game at 1-1 less than two minutes later as Johan Franzen and Kris Draper were whistled for penalties just 25 seconds apart. But the Red Wings' penalty-killing unit did a sensational job, limiting the Ducks to just one shot during a 5-on-3 that lasted 95 seconds.

"We get the goal on the 5-on-3, it's a different story," Anaheim's Teemu Selanne said. "We had all kinds of chances. We have to fix the power play a little bit. ... When you get those power plays, you have to take advantage of them."

Tomas Holmstrom nearly doubled Detroit's lead with 5 1/2 minutes to go in the first period but was denied by Giguere from alone in the low slot.

Hasek preserved a one-goal edge in the opening minute of the third, sprawling to thwart Andy McDonald's wraparound attempt at the right goalpost. But the six-time Vezina Trophy winner was unable to stop Chris Kunitz 53 seconds later.

After receiving a feed from Niedermayer in the neutral zone, Getzlaf made a nifty move to get past Todd Bertuzzi before dropping the puck for Kunitz. From the top of the slot, the 27-year-old fired a hard wrist shot that beat Hasek low to the glove side at 1:34, forging a tie.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0 1 1
    DETROIT 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 5 (PAVEL DATSYUK, NICKLAS
    LIDSTROM) 3:44
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: ANA - CHRIS KUNITZ 1 (RYAN GETZLAF, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER) 1:35
    DET - (PP) NICKLAS LIDSTROM 4 (MIKAEL SAMUELSSON, TO

    May 11 10:11 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    DETROIT 2
    3RD PRD: DET - NICKLAS LIDSTROM 4 (MIKAEL SAMUELSSON, TOMAS HOLMSTROM)
    15:06

    Ducks vs. Red WingsMay 11 10:02 PM
  • 9
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 46 roots

    Ducks vs. Red WingsMay 11 10:02 PM
  • 55
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 40 roots

    Ducks vs. Red WingsMay 11 9:55 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Ducks vs. Red WingsMay 11 9:54 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    DETROIT 1
    3RD PRD: ANA - CHRIS KUNITZ 1 (RYAN GETZLAF, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER) 1:35

    Ducks vs. Red WingsMay 11 9:32 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0 0
    DETROIT 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 5 (PAVEL DATSYUK, NICKLAS
    LIDSTROM) 3:44
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 10 8 18
    DET 5 6

    May 11 9:12 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0
    DETROIT 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 5 (PAVEL DATSYUK, NICKLAS
    LIDSTROM) 3:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 10 10
    DET 5 5
    GOALIE

    May 11 8:20 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 0
    DETROIT 1
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 5 (PAVEL DATSYUK, NICKLAS
    LIDSTROM) 3:44

    Ducks vs. Red WingsMay 11 7:49 PM