Try as they might – and they tried mightily on Saturday – the Ducks simply can’t win a game at Joe Louis Arena.
Leading 4-3 after two periods, Anaheim let one get away when Pavel Datsyuk scored the game-winning goal with 11.4 seconds left in the game. Bobby Ryan, Ryan Carter, Danny Syvret, Teemu Selanne scored goals and Curtis McElhinney made 36 saves in a losing effort.
The Red Wings benefited from back-to-back-to-back power plays in the
game’s first 10 minutes. Thanks to some strong saves by McElhinney, they
only converted one, when Henrik Zetterberg’s slapshot eluded the goalie
Ryan’s goal came seconds into his first shift with Ryan
Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Getzlaf expertly angled a daigonal pass from behind the
net, to Ryan standing in the right circle.
Ryan’s shot into an open net tied the game at 1 with 21.8 seconds left
in the first period.
Ryan would be a nomad the rest of the game. Dan Sexton blocked a Ruslan
Salei shot in his face at 13:58 of the first period, and had to be
helped off the ice by a trainer, bleeding from what looked like either
the nose or mouth area. Sexton didn’t come back, leaving the Ducks with 11 forwards.
The new lines collaborated to score the game’s next two goals, and Ryan was out for both. Carter won a faceoff draw in the defensive zone and was rewarded on the other end with a garbage goal that put the Ducks up 2-1. Thirty-four second later, Syvret clanged a slapshot off the crossbar and in to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead. It was the first goal of the season for both Carter and Syvret.
However, the Red Wings came back refreshed after Mike Babcock called timeout, and evened the score before intermission on goals by Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom.
The score stayed tied at 3 until 8:32 of the third period, when Selanne intercepted a Dan Cleary pass in the neutral zone and skated alone up the right wing to score his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Detroit answered less than three minutes later when Henrik Zetterberg re-directed a Brad Stuart shot to even the game at 4. McElhinney came up with a big save to preserve the tie with 3:15 left after Datsyuk forced a turnover behind the Ducks’ net.
Datsyuk got the last laugh. He collected a long rebound in the left faceoff circle, deked former teammate Andreas Lilja out of his way, and lifted the puck up and over McElhinney for the game-winner.