ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ The Anaheim Mighty Ducks didn't mind skating off with
Petr Sykora scored in the final minute of the second period and set up Vinny
Prospal's goal with one minute left in the third to rally the Ducks to a 2-2
draw with the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
``Lately we've been getting ties and going away with a pretty empty feeling
because we've let games slip away that we felt we could have won,'' Anaheim
captain Steve Rucchin said. ``But tonight we were on the other end of that and
were able to battle back. So we should feel pretty good about ourselves.''
It was the Red Wings' first visit to the Pond since they were swept by
Anaheim in the first round of last year's playoffs, ending their reign as
Stanley Cup champions.
Martin Gerber made 22 saves for the Ducks, who are last in the Pacific
Division after reaching Game 7 of last season's finals. They are 1-6-4 in their
last 11 games, have scored two goals or fewer in 17 of 19 games, and are
0-for-26 on the power play over eight games. A return trip to the playoffs is
``It's going to be tough, but we're staying positive,'' Rucchin said.
``We're playing a lot better hockey now, and I think it's just a matter of time
before we start reeling off some wins. Things have to start going our way
eventually. We just need to stick with it.''
Sergei Fedorov, who had a goal in each of his first two games against his
former Detroit teammates, was scratched just before the game because of stomach
flu. It was the first game Anaheim's leading scorer missed since signing with
the Ducks after 13 seasons with the Red Wings.
``The good thing was it happened right before the game, so we didn't have
too much time to think about it because we were on our way out to the ice,''
Rucchin said. ``We obviously missed him on the power play, and he could have
been the difference.''
On the tying goal, Sykora had the puck in the right corner and threw it in
front to Joffrey Lupul, who hit the left post. But Prospal got the carom and
put it past Manny Legace to tie it after Gerber was pulled for a sixth
``We were outnumbered six-on-five and we didn't have a chance to get the
puck out of the zone after they dumped it in,'' Detroit's Chris Chelios said.
``We should be able to protect that one-goal lead, but with the extra attacker,
they had two guys in front of the net and made a good play.''
Pavel Datsyuk and Mathieu Schneider scored for Detroit. But Brett Hull,
whose 732 career goals are more than anyone except Wayne Gretzky and Gordie
Howe, failed to score for the 20th consecutive game following a seven-game
goal-scoring streak. The drought is his longest in 17 full NHL seasons.
``I don't think his game has changed at all,'' Schneider said. ``He's still
very unselfish with the puck and he's always looking to make plays out there.
He's just going out there and working hard to try and break the jinx.''
The Red Wings, one point behind Toronto and Colorado in the race for the
NHL's best record, have gone winless in three games for the first time since an
0-4-1 stretch from Oct. 25 through Nov. 3. They are 2-for-30 on the power play
over their last six games.
``I think our power play needs to produce a little better,'' Schneider said.
``Teams have been playing us hard, and this time of year, points are very
Datsyuk, who had two goals and two assists against the Ducks on Dec. 3,
opened the scoring 12:12 in during a power play. His wrist shot bounced back
out of the net so quickly that the referees let play continue for another 39
seconds before going to the video goal judge for a ruling.
Sykora scored his 14th goal just 13 seconds before the second intermission
to cut Detroit's lead to 2-1. Todd Simpson dumped the puck behind the net and
Legace left his crease to clear it. But Samuel Pahlsson outhustled him to it,
and Sykora scored into an open net after Pahlsson backhanded the puck into the
``I thought I could get it and play it into the corner, but the guy pushed
me out of the way and beat me to the puck and the guy was wide open in front of
the net,'' Legace said. ``If I don't mess up there, we walk away with it. I
thought we deserved better.''
Schneider scored Detroit's second goal just one second after Anaheim killed
off a boarding penalty against Cam Severson.