|ANA Leads Series 3 - 2|
ANAHEIM – There won't be any so-called passengers on the Anaheim Ducks' plane back to Detroit. Nope, another trip to Joe Louis Arena looks a lot better this time.
Nick Bonino tapped in Ben Lovejoy's pass less than two minutes into overtime as Anaheim defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2, on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series at Honda Center.
Anaheim is bringing a 3-2 series lead to Detroit. The Ducks can advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win in Game 6 on Friday. It was the third overtime game of the series and the first claimed by the Ducks.
"We've beat them in their building. We want to do it again," Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "I think having lost the first two games that went into overtime just to give us a little bit of confidence. We knew we could beat them. Just to do it here tonight here in Game 5 was big."
After a Game 4 overtime loss, Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said there were some passengers, hockey parlance for not getting the best out of all 20 players. The Ducks didn't play a complete game, but they got a tremendous performance from captain Ryan Getzlaf, who scored the game-tying goal in a big swing in the second period.
"He's a great leader, and when he's going, he's a tough man to stop," Boudreau said. "I thought he brought it tonight. Guys followed him. That's what captains do."
The Red Wings, who have Justin Abdelkader back for Game 6, will fly back home knowing a win was in their grasp. They owned the second period until it turned on Daniel Winnik's five-minute boarding major on Daniel Cleary, who was helped to the trainer's room but returned in the third. Detroit could barely get their unit set up and managed one shot in 4:11 before Brendan Smith took a holding penalty.
"Looking back, that could have been the turning point," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "We were up, 2-1. We had a good chance to grab the game right there."
On the ensuing power play, Getzlaf took a stretch pass from Beauchemin, coasted to the high slot and ripped a wrist shot past the blocker side of Jimmy Howard with 32 seconds left in the period to force a 2-2 tie going into second intermission.
Detroit failed to take advantage of a fine game from Howard, who stopped 17 of 18 shots in the first 20 minutes and made 31 saves on the night. Detroit took a 2-1 lead on fat rebound left by Jonas Hiller that Mikael Samuelsson buried, and its lead could have been more. Damien Brunner was thwarted on a breakaway. Pavel Datsyuk had a chance on an egregious turnover by Beauchemin, and Smith hit the post.
"It's too bad we wasted a really good effort from Howie," Kronwall said. "It's amazing how good he is. It doesn't feel too good not being able to get one for him tonight."
While Detroit's two overtime wins came on goals by young players Brunner and Gustav Nyquist, Anaheim answered with Bonino, who has developed into a solid two-way center. He co-leads the Ducks with three goals this postseason after his first career overtime goal.
Bonino said he doesn't remember if he yelled at Lovejoy to throw the puck his way from behind the goal line.
"I just came off the wall, went to the far post and Lover put it there," Bonino said. "I think the guy who was on me was kind of face-guarding me, more than looking at the puck, and it was able to bounce on to my stick."
Faceoff ace David Steckel helped Anaheim tie it at 1-1 after the first period. Steckel won a draw at the left dot for Kyle Palmieri, who spun and wristed it through heavy traffic into the left side of the net at 17:41.
Howard was sharp early with a glove save on Corey Perry in the slot and another on Teemu Selanne. Anaheim had a 14-3 shot advantage through 12 minutes, but couldn't score on a 22-second two-man advantage.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock didn't think the five-minute power play was "the end of the game, though."
"There's lots of coulda, woulda, shoulda stuff," he said. "The bottom line is, a playoff game, we hit three posts tonight they didn't go in. That's life. I thought they were way better than us in the first, I thought we were way better than them in the second, I thought the third was even, and they scored in OT."
Anaheim gave Detroit two power plays in the opening five minutes, and Johan Franzen converted on Perry's goalie interference penalty when he put in his own rebound at 5:28. Henrik Zetterberg slipped him a pass down low and Franzen curled to the left side of the net. His initial shot bounced off Sheldon Souray's leg.
Hiller moved into second all-time among franchise postseason wins with his 10th. He has a .930 save percentage and 2.07 goals-against average in five games.
Toni Lydman missed his second straight game with head/neck injuries.
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