Monday, March 22, 2004

Ducks 8, Wings 6

In a 1980's style game, the Ducks beat the Wings 8-6 in Arrowhead Pond. Manny Legace got the start, but was pulled and replaced by Curtis Joseph in the second period after the Ducks scored four goals in 8:42. The Wings were worried that, with three games in four nights, they would have a sluggish effort tonight. But they came out flying, scoring three goals in the first 6:31 of the game. Unfortunately, the Wings weren't the only team psyched for the game. The Ducks scored 5 goals in 10:04, something that will surely be in Dave Lewis' nightmares tonight. The Wings felt the pain of two notable absences. Schneider was out day-to-day with a groin injury, and Kirk Maltby was back in Detroit for family reasons, his wife having a baby. So the Wings only dressed five defensemen tonight: Chelios, Fischer, Lidstrom, Myrvold, and Rivers. And that's what ultimately got the Wings, I believe. In the first period, Pavel Datsyuk scored his 25th goal of the season at 2:59, assisted by Steve Thomas and Jamie Rivers. On the play, Datsyuk scored on a wrist shot from the right circle, with Jean-Sebastien Giguere partially screened by a passing Wings player. 1-0 Wings. Then Brett Hull scored his 24th goal of the season at 5:27, assisted by Pavel Datsyuk and Ray Whitney. It was a power play goal, and came off a Hull tap in, fed by a backhand pass from Datsyuk. 2-0 Wings. Then Steve Yzerman scored his 17th of the seasom at 6:31, assisted by Jason Williams and Jiri. Fischer. On the play, Yzerman fired a shot from the left side, beating Giguere. 3-0 Wings. Then the tide came in, and brought with it five Anaheim goals over the next 10:04, spanning the remainder of the first and the start of the second. The first goal came at 13:54 from Anaheim Joffrey Lupul on the power play (courtesy of Boyd Devereaux, obstruction hooking), assisted by Sergei Fedorov and Rob Niedermayer. On the play, Fedorov passed the puck across the crease to a waiting Lupol. 3-1 Wings. Shortly thereafter, Steve Rucchin got in on the scoring at 15:18, assisted by Vitaly Vishnevski and Vaclav Prospal. 3-2 Wings. And at 19:58, Jason Williams committed what proved to be a costly penalty, with a four minute double minor for high sticking. Shots in the period were 23-10 Wings. In the second period, with the first intermission acting as the eye of the storm, the hurricane of Ducks offense blasted the Wings. Samuel Pahlsson continued the scoring at 2:10, assisted by Martin Skoula and Andy McDonald. 3-3 tie. And as the red light was just turning off, the Ducks scored again, 26 seconds later. It came from Sergei Fedorov at 2:36, assisted by Rob Niedermayer and Ruslan Salei. 4-3 Ducks. At this point, Manny Legace was pulled, and Cujo scrambled to get his mask on and get out there. He couldn't have been too excited to jump into this kind of game. The Ducks capitalized on the next powerplay, courtesy of a boarding call on Jamie Rivers that made it a 5-on-3, with a goal from Petr Sykora at 3:58, assisted by Vaclav Prospal and Martin Skoula. 5-3 Ducks. Lucky for the Wings, Nicklas Lidstrom scored at 5:56, assisted by Henrik Zetterberg. On the play, Henrik found Lidstrom cutting up through the middle, between the circles, and Nick roofed it on Jiggy. 5-4 Wings. If the Wings had won the game, this would've been the turning point for sure. It marked the end of the Ducks' five unanswered goals, and gave the Wings some momentum. Jamie Rivers scored at 16:53, assisted by Steve Thomas and Brett Hull. On the play, Thomas got the puck across to the weak side through traffic, and Rivers jumped up and rocketed it in. 5-5 tie. With a minute left, Cujo made a huge save on Joffrey Lupul, who took a pass from Samuel Pahlsson at the mouth of the goal. After such a terrible first half of the period, the Wings had to be pleased with where they were going into the locker room for the second intermission. Shots in the period were 18-10 Wings. In the third period, Ray Whitney scored at 1:41, assisted by Jamie Rivers and Steve Yzerman. On the play, Giguere was caught out of the net and Whitney scored with Ducks defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh acting as goaltender. 6-5 Wings. But the Wings' first lead since 13:54 of the first was short-lived, 36 seconds to be exact. Vitaly Vishnevski scored at 2:17, assisted by Samuel Pahlsson. On the play, the Wings were caught on a bad change, and Cujo was beat top shelf. 6-6 tie. Sergei Fedorov scored at 7:01, assisted by Rob Niedermayer and Keith Carney. On the play, Fedorov got the puck in on Cujo backdoor, as Henrik Zetterberg's holding penalty just expired. 7-6 Ducks. With a minute left in the game, the Wings pulled Cujo, but Steve Rucchin scored an empty net goal at 19:46, assisted by Rob Niedermayer and Jason Krog. 8-6 Ducks. Shots in the period were 16-10 Wings; final shots 57-30 Wings. Notables: Calgary Flames coach-general manager Darryl Sutter was suspended two games for sending thug Krzysztof Oliwa onto the ice to start a fight with only 2.5 seconds left in the game and the score 3-1 Nashville. Oliwa was suspended three games. It's nice to see the NHL coming down hard on both the coach and the player in a situation like that, since they obviously didn't do that with Marc Crawford in the Bertuzzi incident. Assistant Coach Joey Kocur in the second intermission interview: "it's like the eighty's relived," "a lot of fun out there," and "Manny wasn't as sharp as he has been." Steve Yzerman, with his assist tonight, has 1041 assists, putting him past Marcel Dionne for 8th all time.... Fedorov has 29 goals, and is one away from his 10th 30-goal season....It was the highest scoring game in Mighty Duck history with 14 goals (previous record was 12)....The Wings had a season-high 57 shots....Anaheim scored five goals in a franchise-record 10:04 in the first and second periods....Ray Whitney has thirteen goals in 60 games-played this season. Sergei Fedorov was booed all night, most likely by Wings fans transplanted or living in Anaheim. It had to be pretty embarrassing for Fedorov to be booed in


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