By Christy Hammond
During Monday’s morning skate, head coach Mike Babcock asked the players who the hardest working team in the NHL was, wrote Helene St. James in Monday’s Freep.com. “In the past, I’ve been able to say, without any question, I think here,” Babcock said. “I don’t think that’s the case right now.”
The Red Wings (16-4-4) responded Monday night with a dominating 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks (14-9-3). While the score made the game appear closer than it was, the Wings out-shot Anaheim 47-16, which was a much more accurate indication of the team’s play.
Ducks goalie J.S. Giguere made 37 saves in the first two periods, including a ridiculous save that essentially robbed Pavel Datsyuk of what seemed to be an easy goal courtesy of a wide open net.
Giguere somehow managed to get his right leg over in time so that the bottom of his skate stopped the puck from going into the net during the first period.
Giguere, who was dehydrated after the second period, was replaced by Ducks back-up Jonas Hiller. He allowed Marian Hossa’s game-winning goal on the first shot of the period.
Dan Cleary carried the puck down the ice in a two-on-one and fired off a pass from above the face-off circle to Hossa, who held onto the puck for a second before launching a shot at the net that found its way through Hiller’s five-hole. Hossa’s 14th goal of the season came 1:48 into the third period.
The Ducks notched the first goal of the game thanks to some confusion on the behalf of Detroit less than two minutes into the game. Chris Kunitz beat Wings goalie Chris Osgood on a wrap-around. Osgood made 15 saves in the win to move past his childhood idol Andy Moog on the NHL’s all-time wins list. Monday’s victory was career win No. 373 for Osgood, who is now No. 13 on the NHL’s all-time wins list.
Detroit wouldn’t get on the scoreboard until 14:26 into the second when Johan Franzen tipped in a Nicklas Lidstrom slap shot from just inside the blue line. Henrik Zetterberg had brought the puck around the Ducks’ net and then dished a backhand pass to Lidstrom. Franzen’s goal marked his 100th career point.
At the end of the night, Babcock was pleased with his team’s effort and the work ethic they showed in front of the home crowd. According to Dave Dye’s article in the Detroit News, Babcock said, “We really worked, came at them wave after wave… That’s something we talked about before the game.”
“When people ask who the hardest-working team in the league is, we want everyone to say us. Tonight, I thought we played 60 minutes. We want to be known as a team that comes to work every night.”
The Wings will get a couple days off for practice before facing off against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night at the Joe.