In a matter of seconds, the Ducks flipped the entire game upside down in stunning, dramatic fashion. After giving up the opening goal to Detroit with just five seconds left in the second period, the Ducks erupted for three unanswered goals in a third period blitz to defeat the Red Wings, 3-1, at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday night. It was a battle of undefeated teams, as both clubs entered the game with 2-0 records.
It was an impressive response to what normally is a swift punch to the gut - a goal in the late stages of any period. However, the Ducks regrouped in the second intermission and never looked back. First, it started with Rickard Rakell muscling in his first goal of the season when a rebound shot from Hampus Lindholm bounced off his countryman's hip and shoulder before crossing the stripe. Then, it was Nick Ritchie, who cruised through the slot untouched and found a loose puck to jam past Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard for his first goal of the season. Then, just 47 seconds later, Jakob Silfverberg unloaded his trademark snap shot high blocker to stun the home crowd. Blink and you could've missed it - it was that kind of comeback. This also marked just the eighth regular-season victory in Motown in franchise history, as the Ducks came in with a 7-28-8 mark at Joe Louis Arena/Little Caesars Arena.
Video: ANA@DET: Rakell tucks home rebound for equalizer
Ritchie, who returned to the lineup tonight on a line with Derek Grant and Carter Rowney, said a collective message was sent inside the locker room during the second intermission. "We had more to give," said Ritchie, whose goal served as the game winner. "We started coming on in a bit in the second. We just needed a big third. It was a one-goal game. We got some bounces, and got a few there."
Video: ANA@DET: Ritchie jams home backhander for lead
Prior to the goals from Ritchie and Silfverberg, the Red Wings thought they took a 2-1 lead when Dylan Larkin chipped a rebound past an outstretched John Gibson. But after the Ducks challenged the goal, it was deemed the play was offside when Anthony Mantha crossed the blueline prior to the puck. Mantha entered the game with five goals and seven points through his first two games this season, but the Ducks held the big right wing off the scoresheet tonight.
"Tonight, there wasn't anything pretty about the win, but we found a way," said Silfverberg. "That's what it takes. All the wins throughout the year aren't going to be great games. Tonight, Gibby was awesome in net, and we managed to score at crucial times. That's how we got through it."
Video: ANA@DET: Silfverberg wires home wrister past Howard
Speaking of Gibson, the 26-year-old netminder put in another sterling performance, allowing just one goal for the third straight game. He kept the Ducks in it early when they were under siege in the first half of the opening period. Then, he - along with his penalty killers - managed to kill off a Red Wings power play in the late stages of regulation. The Ducks went 2-for-2 on the PK tonight, have gone 7-for-7 through three games and 24-for-24 if you include the preseason. Gibson's lone goal tonight came off the stick of Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek, who went top corner with a one-timer from the left faceoff dot.
"We have a tight group," said Silfverberg. "We have a good mix of young guys and a few older guys. We told each other it's going to take a good 20 minutes. These ones feel even better at the end of the night."
The Ducks will continue their four-game road trip on Thursday in Pittsburgh, where they'll look to go 4-0 on the season.