Ducks clip Wings in OT, 3-2
MAY 09, 2013 12:14a ET
But even though the winning goal was scored by Anaheim's Nick Bonino 1:54 into overtime, you could argue that the game was actually lost earlier.
The Wings looked a step slow and disjointed in the first period as the Ducks outshot them 18-9 and carried the play early on.
"I think they were better than us in the first," captain Henrik Zetterberg told FOX Sports Detroit's John Keating on the postgame show after the Wings' 3-2 overtime loss. "We still had a lead there in the first, but I think they skated a lot faster and harder than we did from the start."
Thanks to Johan Franzen's power-play goal early, the Wings actually had a 1-0 lead. Kyle Palmieri tied it late in the first.
But if not for goaltender Jimmy Howard, things could have been much worse.
"I thought Howie was great all the way through," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "They threw a lot of pucks at us, and they had a lot of great chances. And we let them have the chances way too easy.
"Howie came up huge for us, kept us in the game, gave us a chance, and that’s all we can ask for."
Mikael Samuelsson scored midway through the second period, but the 2-1 lead wouldn't last.
Although Franzen had the one power-play goal, it was the power-play goal the Wings didn't get that haunted them later.
At 14:15 of the second, Daniel Winnik received a five-minute boarding major for a hit on Daniel Cleary. Cleary went to the dressing room but managed to return in the third period.
The ensuing power play was far from crisp, as the Wings spent most of it chasing the puck down the ice after the Ducks cleared it. They did have a good chance early but hit the post.
Then Brendan Smith was called for holding, ending the power play early and giving the Ducks one and Ryan Getzlaf capitalized.
"I think it was too slow, not enough pep," Kronwall said. "Looking back, that could have been a turning point.
"We were up 2-1. We had a good chance to grab the game right there, I thought. Instead, they came back and scored right before the end of the second."
Smith was frustrated because he didn't believe he held Getzlaf at all.
"Obviously, it's hard for these officials," Smith said. "It's so quick, and I'm not sure if he had the best angle. But Getzlaf cut in front of me and I tried to get around him, and I guess he thought I was holding. But I didn't even touch him, to be honest."
Howard, who made 31 saves, still believes the Wings can come back and force a Game 7.
"This team has scrapped and clawed all year," Howard told Keating. "I've got a lot of confidence in this group out here so it's going to be a battle.
"This series has been a battle. It's been back and forth. It's going to be the same way Friday night back home."
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