ANAHEIM, Calif. - Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg tallied first period goals and Chris Osgood stopped 24 shots to lead the Detroit Red Wings over the Ducks 2-0 on Wednesday night at the Arrowhead Pond.
The Ducks, who had not played as a unit since February 12th due to the Olympic break, had trouble getting their offense going from the outset of the contest.
“I didn’t think we played very well, said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “For whatever reason we seemed to struggle with the puck in situations and we didn’t react. We were frustrated by our lack of offensive punch. We had our chances but we didn’t finish.
The contest was quirky from the start with defensemen Francois Beauchemin nearly scoring on his own goal with a pass attempt at the side of JS Giguere and an errant pass from the Red Wings end of the ice on a delayed Detroit penalty nearly made it to the empty Ducks net. Giguere was forced to race back and play the puck away from danger.
“We need to be more prepared than that,” said Giguere. There are no excuses. We’re all professionals and we should be ready for those kind of games. We knew they were going to come out pretty hard. Now it’s time to forget and move on.”
Detroit struck for their goals both within one minute during the first period when Holmstrom (20, Zetterberg, Datsyuk) scored his 20th goal of the season at 7:28 for what proved to be the game-winner.
Zetterberg (27, Holmstrom, Lidstrom) tallied a power play marker 46 seconds later at 8:14 to give the Red Wings the 2-0 lead.
On the bright side, the Ducks were with Captain Scott Niedermayer who returned earlier than expected from a knee procedure.
“It feels fine,” said Niedermayer of the knee. We’ll see tomorrow when it’s warm. It may be a little stiff in the morning. I’m just happy to get back on the ice.”
Anaheim was also with Sandis Ozolinsh who was in the Ducks lineup for the first time since November 27th.
The Ducks continue this four-game homestand Friday against Minnesota at 7:30 PM. The Ducks also face Columbus on Sunday at 1 PM and San Jose on Tuesday at 7:30 PM at the Arrowhead Pond.