Who's The Underdog Now? Ducks Take Game 1 Over Detroit 3-1

One down, boys. - Harry How

This series is going to be crazy... wait WHY IS MY HAIR SO GREY?!

Final Score: Ducks 3, Red Wings 1

First Period Recap: This game definitely didn't start with the same bang that the LA/St. Louis game did, as the teams spent the first five or six minutes gingerly feeling each other out. No need to make some big mistakes and put yourself in a hole early, right? That's probably a good thing because the mind behind TV scheduling absolutely bollocked this one up. NBCSN apparently didn't anticipate that Chicago and Minnesota would go to OT.

The first big chance of the game would be fatal as Jordin Tootoo tripped Saku Koivu and got away with it, but then got busted for cross-checking Andrew Cogliano on the same shift. It was likely a makeup call but the Ducks certainly didn't care. Four seconds into the power play, Cam Fowler ripped a wrist shot on net that Nick Bonino tipped behind Jimmy Howard. 1-0 Ducks.

While the momentum appeared to be on Anaheim's side for the time being, Ryan Getzlaf took a penalty for tripping. The pressure on the ensuing penalty kill saw Pavel Datsyuk with a great opportunity at the top of the slot. Dan Winnik reached out and took a hooking penalty to slow him down just enough to prevent the shot. It may have saved a goal but it also put the Ducks two men down.

One second after Getzlaf's penalty expired, Daniel Cleary tied the game after Jakub Kindl's shot took two crazy bounces, one off Cleary's shin guard and found its way past Hiller. 1-1.

The period ended with Detroit putting more pressure on the Anaheim end but the Ducks still out shot the Wings 7-6.

Second Period Recap: Anaheim opened with new energy in the second period, putting five shots on the Detroit goal before the Wings put their first on Jonas Hiller. One chance in particular saw Getzlaf find Corey Perry on a home run pass, which Howard saved but lost track of the rebound. Niklas Kronwall eventually got to it first and clear to safety.

Anaheim's opening momentum died when Bonino took a holding penalty for putting his free arm around Gustav Nyquist. It was a definite holding penalty but Nyquist also sold it pretty hard. Ducks killed the penalty and didn't really surrender any quality opportunities.

Patrick Eaves was next to the penalty box for a blatant interference call against Teemu Selanne. The Ducks second chance wound up much like Detroit's most recent: some decent sustained pressure but no real quality chances or decent shots. The Ducks did however build some momentum back and got a great chance off a hustle play from Winnik. He tapped the puck to Cogliano while falling down, and Cogs put a great shot on Howard while using Kronwall as a screen.

Perry also had a golden chance to put the Ducks up, but as he went darting through the goal crease, his skate clipped Jimmy Howard's helmet. Howard went down like he had just been shot by an invisible sniper in the rafters, and Perry went off for goaltender interference. The Ducks again killed the penalty, but gave up several golden chances in the process, including a point-blank one for Henrik Zetterberg alone at the side of the Anaheim net that the Detroit captain somehow missed high.

A series of good shifts late in the period from the Ducks' first and third lines kept the Red Wings penned into their own zone, and Kindl made the mistake of throwing the puck over the glass, giving the Ducks their third PP chance. With only 19 seconds left, the Wings won the faceoff and cleared the zone. The period ended with the score still level at 1-1, but the shots lead widened as the Ducks out shot Detroit 10-6, bringing the game totals to 17-11.

Third Period Recap: The Ducks started the third period with a little over a minute and half of power play time and for the most part the extra-man unit looked very poor. Then Teemu happened. A pass from Ben Lovejoy found the Finnish Flash on the top of the left circle, who ripped it over Howard and gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead with their second power play goal of the night. The smile on his face after burying it was absolutely priceless.

The Ducks continued to pour the pressure on the Detroit end, but remember these are the Red Wings and they only need one chance to burn you. Brendan Smith danced around his point coverage and ripped a shot toward the far corner that Hiller snared with his glove hand magnificently. Datsyuk had a swipe at a puck immediately following the television timeout which Hiller made arguably an even better save on. Two golden chances that the Ducks scraped their way out of. Andrew Cogliano also found a gap between the Red Wings defense and cut his way to the front of the net, which Howard denied.

The Ducks once again fought off the adversity though and pushed back. Great chances from the top line as well as Kyle Palmieri and Emerson Etem all were denied by Jimmy Howard. Just a few weeks ago, Anaheim would have broken under the pressure from Detroit and allowed themselves to get steamrolled. This was not the case tonight.

Detroit would get their chances as well, as Hiller stopped Dan Cleary's bid for a second goal.

Cogliano found himself wide open on a breakaway behind the Detroit defense and Kronwall hauled him down as he pursued the puck. What should have been a penalty shot was not even given a minor penalty.

Yet another makeup call came when Valtteri Filppula put a light hook on David Steckel. Anaheim might as well have just had the officials remove two minutes from the game clock as they didn't generate anything.

With Howard pulled late, Detroit hit desperation mode. Justin Abdelkader found himself alone uncovered in front of the Anaheim net after Francois Beauchemin lost his stick, but Hiller stood strong.

Detroit tried some gamesmanship with less than 30 seconds left. Dan Cleary bought some rest for his teammates by going to get a new stick, and he took his sweet time about it too. Rather than getting a delay-of-game penalty, the officials allowed it. This caused more bickering. An idiot threw an octopus on the ice. Boudreau called his timeout, and three minutes after the icing infraction, the puck finally was dropped again.

Daniel Winnik, not a natural center, won the faceoff cleanly to Beauchemin, who fired it 180 feet into the empty net.

Suck it, Detroit. Ducks win game one 3-1 to take a 1-0 series lead. Third period shots were 11-10 in favor of the Red Wings, but the Ducks led overall 27-22.

**********

The Good: The Anaheim third line looked like it did in the first week of the season, meaning they were stellar. Daniel Winnik played his vintage gritty, hard-nosed game. Saku Koivu was "sensational" according to Bryan Hayward, and Andrew Cogliano was literally everywhere. The Ducks also responded to any adversity and battled for this one. Every time Detroit put pressure on their end, Anaheim refused to break and responded by generating some chances of their own. They never folded, never got down, and never let Detroit seize control. The Ducks also played a great game against Datsyuk. Hayward went out of his way to point out that the Ducks were doing a great job shepherding the wizard into difficult situations which he would try to stick handle his way out of, and then sick sometimes up to three players on him to poke it away. It was extremely effective as Datsyuk was limited to only one shot on goal in over 20 minutes of ice time. The Ducks also played an extremely physical game, outhitting and out-muscling the Wings all night long. A fantastic overall effort.

The Bad: The Ducks had several stupid, pointless icing infractions that cost them. Several times these mistakes gave Detroit pressure and chances against Anaheim that could have been prevented. Likewise, Detroit had at least two chances in which the defense lost track of a man and left him alone wide open a foot away from the goal crease. They're extremely fortunate Detroit didn't burn them for it.

The Ugly:How the hell do four officials miss Andrew Cogliano getting drug down on what would have been a clear breakaway? Or allow Dan Cleary to delay the game for a minute and a half just to get a new stick? Ridiculous.

**********

3rd MVD: Jonas Hiller stood on his head tonight. The only goal he allowed was one of those ones he could do literally nothing to stop, and he stood strong against a number of golden chances. Bruce Boudreau clearly made the right decision with giving Jonas the net tonight.

2nd MVD: Andrew Cogliano didn't score tonight but he was absolutely everywhere and likely could have had a hat-trick. He killed penalties, he generated chances, and perhaps his best contributions was his pressure up the ice. His speed gave Detroit absolute fits while they tried to leave their own end.

1st MVD: Francois Beauchemin played like a Norris Trophy candidate tonight. Several times he made a stellar play defensively to break down a Detroit rush or prevent a scoring chance. And he punctuated the night by scoring into the empty net. He deserved to be on the score sheet, if for nothing else, because of his absolutely incredible defensive play.

Game 2: Thursday, May 2, 2013, 7pm, Honda Center

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