Brunner Nets OT Winner to Tie Series at Two

Homestar Brunner with the game winner makes me Strong Sad. - Gregory Shamus

The Ducks led early, but faded as the game wore on to a point where they couldn't even really mount an attack in Overtime and the series is tied back up at two games a piece heading into Game 5 Wednesday.

Final Score: Ducks 2, Red Wings 3

Disclaimer: This may be a short recap because the game was so tense I didn't get much oxygen to my brain.

First Period Recap: The game started out well and after a strong forechecking shift from the newly assembled line of Mikael Samuelsson, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg the pace got cranked up to 11. It was back and forth with wild scrambles around both nets and long stretches between whistles.

Five minutes in, Matt Beleskey opened the scoring as Andrew Cogliano got a pass across the crease, Beleskey found some space on his third attempt, the biggest rebound, and slipped it past Jimmy Howard who was somewhat pulled out of position by a combination of the pass and Beleskey's movement.

The Ducks also had the only Power Play opportunity of the period as Johan Franzen was called for interference well away from the play at the very end of the period. The Ducks had one good shift on the PP before the period ended, but couldn't capitalize and it bled into the second.

The Wings out shot the Ducks 13-8 in the period

Second Period Recap: The second was even more dominated by the Red Wings, but the Ducks had some glorious chances on the counter attack.

Toward the end of the period, one of the Ducks' best chances came when Kyle Palmieri broke into the zone, got a shot off and it was kept out only by hitting the knob of Howard's stick. But the best chance of the period came as Emerson Etem got a step on Jonathan Ericsson in the neutral zone, held him off while driving the puck right into the crease and flicked the puck on his backhand but hit the inside of the post.

Most of Detroit's chances came from right in close to the crease, but Hiller did well to cover as many pucks as possible. Throughout the game Daniel Winnik, Saku Koivu and Cogliano were fantastic. They did a great job of skating the puck out of harm and supporting each other so that they didn't have to take any long risky passes.

Second period shots were 14-7 to the bad guys, for a running total of 27-15.

Third Period Recap: The third period started off on a very frightening note as Zetterberg was left all alone on the side of the net, but couldn't jam the puck past Jonas Hiller. Just over a minute later the Wings tied it with a Brendan Smith shot from the point that deflected off of Francois Beauchemin's torso, down into Hiler's feet and then the net.

With the game tied at one Ryan Getzlaf picked off a D-to-D pass from Jakub Kindl to Brian Lashoff and went on a breakaway but Howard stayed right with him and waffle-boarded it out of play.

Four minutes in, the Ducks were assessed their first (and eventually only) penalty of the game as Beauch got caught chasing Datsyuk around the defensive zone, and tripped the elusive Russian as he tried to poke the puck off of his stick. At this point in the game the Ducks had been penned in the zone for long stretches and the start of the PK was no different, however once they were able to clear, the Ducks killers were able to start winning some pucks and continue clearing the zone.

As the penalty expired, Beauch came out with his fresh legs flying and sent a great pass to Corey Perry with space, but he was shut down by the pads of Howard, Getzlaf and Beauch couldn't get to the rebound before it was covered.

Midway through the period the fourth line of Palmieri, Etem and David Steckel worked the puck down low, Etem got it from behind the net to Palmieri for a shot that rebounded off of Howard to Etem and Steckel who both had the net wide open. Originally the goal was credited to Etem, but upon further review he wasn't able to get his stick on it and Steckel recorded his first goal of the playoffs.

A few minutes later there was a very close call, when the puck bounced up in the air and Hiller lost sight of it, but it dropped right onto Franzen's stick at the side of the net and with Hiller in the middle of his crease Franzen tried to shoot it short side. Luckily the puck ended up under Hiller and he covered with his catching glove behind him. The play was reviewed, but at no point could you see the puck so, the call on the ice of no goal stood.

On the very next shift, Datsyuk picked up speed through the neutral zone, made a slight move at the blueline to get some space from Luca Sbisa and ripped an absolutely perfect wrist shot that rocked the water bottle and popped right back out of the net. HIller was slightly deep in his crease, but there was no way he was going to stop such a gorgeous shot.

The way the Ducks were playing in the third, it was hard to imagine them bouncing back a second time to win this one. They were out shot 14-9 for a regulation total of 44-24.

Overtime Recap: Early on in the overtime the Ducks had some chances, and got a questionable power play opportunity when Joakim Andersson lifted Perry's stick behind the Detroit net and the shaft of Perry's stick and/or the toe of Andersson's clipped Perry. The Power Play must have been better than I remember, because the Ducks ended up out shooting Detroit in Overtime, (9-8) despite, as my memory suggests, being thoroughly out played.

Of course, the only thing that mattered in OT was 15 minutes in, Andersson tried to spring Gustav Nyqvist (Game 2 OT hero for Detroit) on a breakaway. He raced for the puck and poked it toward Hiller who wasn't able to corral it; Damien Brunner picked up the rebound and finished it off. Brand new series heading back to Anaheim on Wednesday.

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The Good: More depth scoring comes through for the Ducks with Beleskey and Steckel getting the goals.

The Bad: The other side of that coin is that the big guys weren't able to crack Howard in this game. When it comes down to it, the difference was that Detroit scored two from less than expected sources AND got a huge goal from their best player when they needed it the most, but Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan and Selanne were shut out.

The Ugly: Toward the end of Overtime the Ducks weren't able to mount any sort of an attack. Daniel Winnik had a chance after the power play, but for the most part Anaheim was lucky to chip the puck out of the zone and get changes. It was just a matter of time.

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3rd Icehole: Jesus Christ, that Datsyuk shot was insane. The Ducks have done a pretty good job of keeping him under wraps in this series, but he had to come through at some point, he's just too damn good.

2nd Icehole: The Ducks' attack was almost non-existent in the later stages of Overtime. There are certain times when you can tell that a team is in "bend but don't break" mode and they'll be able to capitalize on one of their rare counter attacks. This was not one of those. The Ducks just seemed to have nothing in the tank in OT and seeing the puck drift into the offensive zone with no forecheck whatsoever was hard to watch.

1st Icehole: Gustav Nyqvist was really the catalyst for the overtime goal. His speed backed off Sbisa and Bryan Allen (surprise) as well as Hiller, who got swimming in his crease a little bit so that he couldn't cover the rebound from the second wave of attack in the form of Damien Brunner.

Next Game: Wednesday, May 8 at 7:00 PM PST in Anaheim

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