GameThread: If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Face kick in 3... 2... 1... - USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks played a Hell of a game Tuesday night to take a 1-0 series lead and prove that they still CAN be the team that started the year 13-1 at home. The question now becomes, can they keep that pace up?

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Detroit Red Wings
@ Anaheim Ducks

Thursday, May 2, 2013, 7:00 PM PDT
Honda Center

TV: Prime Ticket, NBCSN
Radio: ESPN 710 AM

Your Enemy: Winging It In Motown

Complete Coverage >



Ducks Lead Series 1-0

SERIES LEADERS:

Scoring: It's only been one game, so everyone is tied with one point. Goals from Nick Bonino, Teemu Selanne, Francois Beauchemin and Daniel Cleary. A bunch of other dudes have assists.

Goaldending: Jonas Hiller, .955 Sv %, 1.00 GAA; Jimmy Howard, .923 Sv %, 2.03 GAA

Power Play: Ducks 2/4, 50%; Red Wings 1/4, 25%

Who's Hot: Going back to the regular season, Bonino has four points in his last five games and Cam Fowler has five in his last six. But all that really matters now is that they each recorded a point in Game 1. Winnik, Andrew Cogliano and Saku Koivu did a great job in shutting down Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, as such they were three of the Ducks top five forwards in ice time Tuesday (Getzlaf and Perry were the others).

Justin Abdelkader seemed to benefit from being lined up with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, leading the Wings in shots with four, two of which came in his final shift with the goalie pulled. He even got lucky enough to keep his +/- even, after being replaced with Cleary for the empty netter.

Who's Not: Hard to say because it was such a solid all around performance from the Ducks, but Bobby Ryan was rather inconspicuous, though he ended up with two shots in 15:40 (including 3:26 on the PP).

Datsyuk was held to only one shot in Game 1. Surprisingly though, he only averaged 2.3 shots/game in the regular season. Still, don't expect that to continue without another tremendous performance from Beauchemin and the Cogliano-Koivu-Winnik line.

Numbers for Nerds: Patrick Eaves was the only Detroit player with PP time in Game 1 that served less than 2:25 with the man advantage (22 seconds). Daniel Winnik led the Ducks forwards in TOI with 20:06 on Tuesday.

(Apologies that this turned into a bonus recap of Game 1. The new playoff game preview format will hopefully get better as the sample size grows.)

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So, that Game 1 was a huge relief, eh? It's no secret that going into this series i was a nervous wreck. On the podcast this week I went back and forth more than Faye Dunnaway in Chinatown and ended up being the only pessimist among the staff, picking Detroit in 6 (Homers!). Thanks to a rare full 60 minute performance throughout the lineup, I was able to stave off a full nervous breakdown. Now it's time for more nail biting, jaw clenching and hyperventilating, but such are the playoffs.

I'd have to say the most impressive part of Game 1 was the Ducks' ability to read and intercept Detroit passes through the neutral zone. This was especially effective in the first period, facilitated by the fact that Mike Babcock's game plan consisted of sending a cherry picker to the Ducks' blueline and bombing home run passes from the tops of the circles. Also, stick tap to Beauch for looking like a Yale Alum with some serious stick on puck defending against Datsyuk.

Tuesday night was pretty close to a perfect blueprint of how the Ducks need to play the rest of this series to move on. Get out to an early lead, contain Datsyuk and Zetterberg, key saves at key moments from Hiller (and/or Fasth, if he comes in) and pressure the young D-men. Even so, there were three or four big opportunities for the Wings to take a lead or tie it up and change the entire complexion of the game.

It's a fine line the Ducks are walking, but so far, so good. For now, the best strategy is to quote Herb Brooks: "AGAIN!"

Pregame Twitter Updates:

Looks like Bruce Boudreau is playing the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" card tonight:

That could lead to a dicey situation of adapting to Babcock's inevitable adjustments (like Todd Bertuzzi coming back from injury as well as possibly Mikael Samuelsson) on the fly and the return of the Boudreau random line generator if they don't find the same gear as Game 1, but we'll find out soon enough.

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