DETROIT -- Were this still the regular season, it is possible the Anaheim Ducks would go into their next game riding a wave of momentum from a crazy comeback Thursday night in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Alas, this is a Western Conference Quarterfinals series in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the old addage that there is no momentum during a best-of-7 series probably applies.
“No, I don’t think there’s any momentum,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “It is still in their favor. They won the game. That’s the bottom line. In the playoffs, you don’t get points for ties or points for overtime. I think that we can take some positives out of it. We showed a lot of character to come back and know that we need to play that type of game from the start.”
Anaheim prevailed in a Game 1 that proved to be a little more tight-checking than Game 2 Thursday. That was in part because the Red Wings struck quickly in each of the three periods and built a 4-1 lead, which forced the Ducks into a wide-open style and the teams traded chances at both ends.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said upon further review, he’s worried more about the mental mistakes than physical ones heading into Game 3 here on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS2, NBCSN, KDOC, FS-D).
“The Wings are a good team. We’re not playing the Florida Panthers here,” Boudreau said. “They’re going to make you make mistakes, and that’s going to happen. The fixable things are that we made mental mistakes. [They] are fixable.”
Some of those mental mistakes led to power-play opportunities for the Red Wings, and they made the Ducks pay. Detroit scored three times on the power play in Game 2, including the winner in overtime.
There have been 13 goals in this series; seven have been scored on the man-advantage.
“They’ve got four and we’ve got three in two games. I gotta believe it is a major factor,” Boudreau said. “They scored their overtime goal, and their last three goals were all power-play goals. We got a power-play goal to get it close at 4-3. I think the night before our power-play goals were the difference. Obviously it is a stay-out-of-the-penalty-box type of series, I think, if you’re either team.”
Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said, “Before the series we talked about being disciplined, and you can’t really take six minors in a game against a team like Detroit with their power play and their offensive skills. ... I thought we did a great job in Game 1 of staying out of the scrums and not retaliating or all that stuff, but at the same time we still want to be physical because that’s the way we play. We’ve just got to do it with discipline.”
After the Ducks made their big comeback to force overtime, they had a chance to steal Game 2 and bring a 2-0 series lead on the road. As it stands, the series is level and has the look of one that could end up being a long one after two evenly played contests.
“They got one, we got one now,” Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Obviously we're happy the way we played up to 4-1 and then sat back a little too much and they tied it up. Then it was good to see that we found a way to win in overtime.”
Boudreau said, “I think both teams, it is sort of that 1-1 going into Detroit is how both games should have been played out. No team took an advantage. ... 1-1 seems fair the way both games played and we’ll see how the next two games play out.”