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Ducks forward Mike Brown escapes suspension

Saturday, 05.02.2009 / 4:29 PM / Conference Semifinals: Detroit vs. Anaheim

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

DETROIT – Less than 24 hours after Mike Brown's controversial hit on Jiri Hudler, the feeling among the Anaheim Ducks has not changed.

It was clean.

The Detroit Red Wings may not have agreed, but according to The Associated Press, they were told Saturday that Brown won't be suspended for Game 2, which will take place on Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle had his own disagreements with the officiating again in the 3-2 loss in Game 1. After watching the video, he was displeased about a hit by Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall that apparently drew blood from Ryan Carter.

"It's amazing there wasn't any replays on the Kronwall check on Ryan Carter. He cut him in the first period," Carlyle said. "He jumped and left his feet. There was no replays. We let the League make those decisions."

When asked about the subject, Kronwall –- who logged nearly 24 minutes of ice time in Game 1 -– took the politically correct route.

"Obviously, they're looking at it from their perspective," said Kronwall, who had no interest in getting in a war of words. "That's how the game's played. They try to physical, and that's what we're trying to do as well."

It certainly was what Brown was trying to do when he drilled Hudler with 8:31 remaining in the first period. Brown practiced with the team on Saturday.

Johan Franzen scored on the ensuing power play, which erased a 1-0 lead for the Ducks. For Brown, it was extremely difficult to have to watch the remaining 48 minutes of the game.

"They gave me a five and a game," Brown said when asked if he felt the penalty was enough justice. "They had a five-minute power play. It was good that we only let them score one goal, but I just wanted to be out there and play. It was a bummer not being out there. There's nothing I can really say other than that it was a clean hit."

Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf agreed.

"I thought it was clean," he said. "It's not like he elbowed him or anything like that."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock -– who said the hit was dirty after Friday's victory -– was short on the subject at Saturday's morning skate and said he didn't think Brown would be suspended.

 "What do I know?" he said. "Nothing's changed for me. It doesn't matter what I think. I'm not making these decisions.

"It doesn't matter what I think … I want to make that real clear. They don't care what I think. To me, I think we're supposed to be protecting each other's heads. That's it. That's all I've got."

Contact Brian Compton at: bcompton@nhl.com.


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