|Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf stakes off as the Detroit Red Wings celebrate their 2-1 win over the Ducks.
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Dominik Hasek put forth arguably his best performance of the season in a 24-save effort, as the NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings won for the ninth time in their last 10 road games with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.
Hasek, who had a shutout going until Chris Pronger cut a 2-0 deficit in half with a power play goal midway through the third period, made several spectacular saves through the first two periods, clearly pumped up to play the defending Stanley Cup champs.
''It was a game we sort of expected,'' Hasek said. ''They came at us very physical, but we said to ourselves that we have to be as physical as they are, especially in the first period. I think it is a big rivalry. They are the Stanley Cup champions and they play like champions. They beat us last year (in the playoffs) and most of the time we lose in this building, so this was a big game for us to show them we can win in this building also.''
Detroit got on the board first when Brian Rafalski scored on the power play 11:52 into the game. With the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, Rafalski was able to beat Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere with a 30-foot laser ( 700K ). Anaheim forward Rob Niedermayer was disappointed that his team didn’t do a better job of maintaining its composure early in the game.
''It was a big game and emotions run high,'' Anaheim forward Rob Niedermayer said. ''You can't get behind the eight ball right away. We gave them a few power plays early and they got momentum from that.''
Valtteri Filppula gave Detroit a 2-0 lead with his 15th goal of the season at 7:52 of the second period. With the teams at even strength, Filppula intercepted a clearing attempt by Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin, whose stick broke as he made contact with the puck. Filppula gained control near the blue line and finished off a give-and-go with Tomas Kopecky as the Wings went up by a pair ( 700K ).
''I thought it was very much like a playoff game,'' Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. ''There were two really competitive teams that wanted to win. We have had our battles in the past, and with last year's playoffs. You could tell both teams were really competing out there.''
For the second time in 10 nights, Vancouver and St. Louis went to a shootout. And, just like the last time, the Canucks came out on top.
Such is life when you have Roberto Luongo.
The Canucks’ netminder did not allow a goal in the breakaway session, as he forced St. Louis to go 0-for-4 as Vancouver ended its four-game losing streak, while the Blues’ skid reached six.
Manny Legace wasn’t too shabby on the other end for St. Louis, as it took four rounds before Daniel Sedin solved the Blues’ goaltender. Sedin made a nice deke before sliding it on the forehand over the goal line ( 700K ).
Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund erased a one-goal deficit on two separate occasions in this one thanks to a pair of power play tallies. The victory moved Vancouver into seventh place in the Western Conference as it finally won a game when trailing after two periods (1-17-1).
“It’s a good win for us,” Ohlund said. “We wanted a big win before the (All-Star) break here.”
After D.J. King gave the Blues an early lead, Ohlund tied things up with 1:39 remaining in the first period. With David Backes in the penalty box, Ohlund fired a shot from the point that found its way through a crowd and past a screened Legace to make it 1-1.
Boyes restored the lead for St. Louis when he scored his seventh goal in as many games just 1:16 into the second period, but Ohlund evened the score again when he took a pass from Henrik Sedin and fired a shot past Legace to make it 2-2.
After Luongo caught a break in Round 3 of the shootout when David Perron hit the goal post, the Canucks’ netminder made a nifty glove save on Keith Tkachuk in the following round, just moments after Daniel Sedin potted the shootout’s lone goal.
“Louie gives us a chance every time we play,” Ohlund said. “Even the previous few games we lost, it’s not because of him. It’s a treat playing in front of him.”
Material from wire services was used in this report.