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The Wings played in two Round 2 games since the last edition of Around the Rink so we’ll focus on recapping what went on over the weekend in today’s installment.
Well, we know this series will definitely be coming back to Detroit next Sunday for Game 5. Hopefully, the Wings will have an advantage coming back (meaning they won both games) or in a tie (thus splitting the pair of games in Anaheim). After playing just over 100 minutes, the Ducks snapped the tie 1:15 into the third overtime to give Anaheim a 4-3 victory at Joe Louis Arena.
Larry Lage of the Associated Press recaps the game, noting Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller made a career-high 59 saves on 62 shots. He also notes a very interesting statistic: “Franzen has scored 21 times in 46 playoff games. Just five active players had more goals in their first 46 playoff games, according to STATS.” Brian Compton of NHL.com talks about Hiller’s first 3OT experience. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com focuses on Todd Marchant and his game-winning goal.
In his column for the Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom writes about the lack of scoring from two of Detroit’s biggest stars — Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk — and points out the marquee line for the Anaheim Ducks is living up to their billing. Despite some players posting almost 40 minutes of ice time, the Detroit News blog noted defenseman Chris Chelios had less than seven minutes of play. In Brian Rafalski’s absence, rookie Jonathan Ericsson has really stepped up and logged a lot of minutes even if he reminds some of Chris Pronger by his looks.
Sure no one wants to see their team lose a playoff game, but the loss marked Detroit’s first one this postseason. It was bound to happen. Obviously, it’s hard to watch the Wings lose in triple overtime but no one predicted this series would go just four games.
Thanks to last minute heroics from captain Nicklas Lidstrom, the Wings escaped with a 3-2 victory over the Ducks in Game 1 with 49.1 seconds to spare. The late goal was Lidstrom’s second marker of the evening. Johan Franzen scored the other goal for Detroit, showing once again that he is Mr. Clutch.
ESPN’s Outside the Line put together a nice segment on former defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov, which you can view at ESPN.com. I also touched upon Vladdy’s role in inspiring and motivating the 1997-98 Stanley Cup team in a DRW.com article about the difficulty of repeating as champs.
Up Next: Games 3 and 4 at 10:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday and Thursday in Anaheim.