Friday, May 3, 2013

Wings Survive Epic Meltdown, Tie Series with OT Win

If you like roller-coasters, last night's game in Anaheim was a treat for you.

The Red Wings, already down 1-0 in their 1st round series against the Ducks, spotted themselves what should've been a comfortable 3-goal lead, but were forced into Overtime after a full-team collapse the magnitude of which I have rarely--if ever--seen from this club.  After going up 4-1, Detroit completely imploded in the 3rd period, surrendering 3 goals in the span of roughly 10 minutes to allow the Ducks to force extra time.  The Wings would nip their Duck problem in the bud, though, and survive to win 5-4 in OT.

Some credit is due to Anaheim, insofar as they didn't quit, but had the Wings kept playing the way they had in the first hlaf of the game they never would've found themselves in the tight spot that they did.  Playoffs or no, you go up 4-1 on a club, you should win the game comfortably.  This was far from comfortable.

Johan Franzen led the offense with a pair of goals for Detroit, while Justin Abdelkader and Damien Brunner also chipped in with goals in regulation.  Gustav Nyquist would be the one to provide the OT heroics, scoring on a PP just 1:21 into the extra frame.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard was...good--not great, but good.  He fought the puck far less last night than he did in Game 1, but still gave up a couple softies that could've also prevented this game from getting to Overtime.

Down at the other end, Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller was slow to show up to Game 2, but sealed the wall up in the 3rd after the 2nd Franzen goal, and made critical saves to keep the Ducks in it.  One particular save on Valtteri Filppula would've been in the net on most nights, but Hiller somehow got over to rob Flip and give his team momentum just before the Ducks tied the game at 4 apiece.

On the injury front, Todd Bertuzzi played last night, his 1st game back since going out with back issues early in the season, and what is probably the biggest--and baddest--news out of Game 2 is that young phenom Danny DeKeyser has been diagnosed with a broken thumb and is done for the year.  He will likely be replaced with either Carlo Colaiacovo or Ian White, as coach Mike Babcock will probably go with experience over the younger Brian Lashoff.

The series now shifts back to Hockeytown, and if the Wings can steal the show at home, they'll be sitting pretty to wrap up Round 1.  Game 3 starts tomorrow night at 7:30 ET.