Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The Detroit Red Wings celebrated Mother’s Day with a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 to give the Wings a 3-2 series lead. Detroit outshot Anaheim 38-17 in the contest and 223-119 in the series. The team flew to California right after the game and will face off against the Ducks on Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. EDT.
Mr. Clutch strikes again
Johan Franzen got the game rolling with a marker at 3:23 in the second period. It was the second straight game that Franzen has scored the first goal for Detroit. Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press believes Franzen was the star of the night. The Mule now has five goals this series, seven overall in the 2009 NHL playoffs. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press notes a great statistic about Franzen’s postseason success:
Franzen has 24 goals in 49 career playoff games, and 20 in his last 25 dating to the start of the 2008 playoffs. A year ago he scored 13 goals in the playoffs, a franchise record he holds along with Henrik Zetterberg.
Brian Compton writes at NHL.com that Franzen’s size contributes to his success, which includes 18 goals in the last 19 playoff games for Detroit.
Helm brings speed to the ice
You have likely noticed him all series long — his speed, energy, and physicality. It’s hard to miss him as he always seems to be creating chances as he spins through the zone. Well, he finally tallied his first goal of the playoffs with 3:08 left in the final frame when he put in a loose puck. Helm also notched six hits and had two takeaways in the contest. Despite the star power on the Detroit roster, Michael Caples of DRW.com selected speedy Helm as the player of the game.
Abdelkader shines in playoff debut
Michigan State alum Justin Abdelkader made his NHL postseason debut and honored his mom on Mother’s Day with his first ever playoff point, assisting on Franzen’s first goal of the game. The tickets to the game and then registering an assist were the best Mother’s Day gifts he’s ever gotten for his mom. In just 6:32 of ice time, Abdelkader registered nine hits. He played alongside Kirk Maltby and Mikael Samuelsson on the fourth line.
Wings wearing down the Ducks
Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski comments on how Detroit is wearing down the Ducks thanks to the incredible depth on this team’s roster. It didn’t help Anaheim that their offensive star Ryan Getzlaf is battling the flu and he only generated one shot on goal. Mark Whicker of the OC Register referred to the Wings’ depth as an “assembly line of puck-carrying talent.”
George Sipple at the Detroit Free Press comments that the Ducks did not seem emotionally engaged and were outhit 35-18, which is surprising since Anaheim likes to play physical. It was Detroit who brought the energetic play all game.
Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com asked if the Ducks had walked all the way from Anaheim to get here because that’s how worn out the team appeared last night.