Skip to Main Content

Ducks blank struggling Wings 4-0

by Curtis Zupke
ANAHEIM, Calif.  -- The summer will likely come early for Anaheim, but there are nights like Wednesday that remind observers that they are perhaps the most interesting non-contender around.

Anaheim got a two-goal game from Kyle Palmieri, a dominating all-around performance from captain Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne's 1,400th career point and 660th goal in a 4-0 victory against Detroit.

Anything else?  Yes. Jonas Hiller made 23 saves for his 15th career shutout in his 30th straight start in goal as Anaheim shut out Detroit at home for the first time.

Palmieri, recalled Monday in place of the injured Corey Perry, scored in a three-goal second period for the Ducks and added another on a breakaway 1:22 into the third as Anaheim snapped a three-game winless streak against an injury-ravaged Detroit team playing the second of a back-to-back.

As reporters waited for Palmieri to emerge in the locker room, Selanne playfully shouted, "Where's the star? Where's the young goal scorer?"

Selanne, 41, then got serious about the 21-year-old Palmieri.

"Kyle is a great skater, and he's got an unbelievable shot," Selanne said. "He doesn't really have any weaknesses. So the next step for the young guy is the confidence.

"He has all the tools and I'm expecting he's going to be really, really good in this League. That was fun to watch when the young guys come in and have success."

The 25th pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, Palmieri has an NHL-caliber shot and the club envisions him as pest-type player with offensive skills, like Perry.

He made it 2-0 when he stripped the puck from Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith in Detroit's zone and backhanded it past Joey MacDonald for an unassisted score. He also slipped behind the defense for another backhand goal in the third.

"It was an awesome night for me, and I think the whole team played well," Palmieri said. "My linemates are great players and they played great tonight. Guys like that are going to open up space for you.

"I think it's just one of those things where I got a couple of lucky breaks and the puck was bouncing right on my stick. I was lucky enough to score two tonight, but confidence-wise, it definitely feels good. Hopefully going forward, I can keep making an impact on this team."

Two days ago Selanne passed boyhood idol Jari Kurri for 19th on the all-time scoring list, but the milestone point came in a loss that virtually doomed Anaheim's postseason chances.

With Kurri in attendance Wednesday, Selanne delivered point No. 1,400 point when he whacked home Cam Fowler's rebound on the doorstep after Andrew Cogliano won a faceoff.

It was Selanne's 23rd goal of the season and team-leading 60th point. He joined Jaromir Jagr and Stan Mikita as the only European-born players to hit the 1,400-point mark.

"He's like a really good wine," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's hard to imagine the possibility of him getting between 25 and 30 goals this year at his age. It's kudos to him."

Detroit got Todd Bertuzzi back after losing 5-2 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, but it appears that Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom can't return soon enough. The Red Wings have dropped three straight in regulation for the first time since they lost four in a row in October, and Nashville is nipping at their heels in the battle for home-ice edge in the opening round.

Detroit's power play moved the puck well but couldn't penetrate Hiller. The Wings went went 0 for 3 to extend their drought to 0 for 27 over seven games.

The Red Wings also got away from their puck-possession game. Anaheim was credited with six takeaways to Detroit's one.

"They've got some talented forwards – they're going to create some damage if you're not playing the way you should," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Tonight, I thought we shot ourselves in the foot. We keep making mistakes and they got way too much down in our zone.

"We have to regroup here and look forward to Saturday (at San Jose). Hopefully tomorrow we'll take the day off and just think about something completely different … right now we're not playing as team, and we're making it too easy on the other team."

Bobby Ryan made it a three-goal game at 18:55 when he one-timed a shot from the right side to finish off nice work by Getzlaf, Palmieri and Lubomir Visnovsky to create a rush.

Detroit was outshot 13-6 in the second. Its best chances were thwarted by Hiller during its second power play as Hiller stopped Kronwall, Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen.

"You've got to give Hiller credit," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "He made three unbelievable saves tonight or the game could have been tighter and gone differently. The reality is we are not playing hard enough or with good enough structure and therefore we don't seem very skilled. We have to look in the mirror and get it fixed. We go through adversity every year and we are getting our fair share right now."

The first period offered plenty of scoring chances but no scoring. Detroit came out with jump and had a 6-2 edge in shots until Anaheim came back with opportunities by Jason Blake a wrister by Ryan that hit the post.

Anaheim defenseman Luca Sbisa was scratched with a back injury.
View More