DETROIT – Ryan Getzlaf was the hero, and the Detroit Red Wings were angry.
Getzlaf's second goal of the game, with 24 seconds left in the third period, gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 win against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.
Getzlaf took the puck away from Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall, skated out in front and put a backhand shot under the crossbar past goalie Jimmy Howard.
"Just one of those plays where the puck turned up and I was able to take it to the net, " the Ducks captain said. "I closed my eyes and put it upstairs."
The Red Wings argued that Getzlaf gained control of the puck because he tripped Kronwall.
"Referees don't try to make mistakes, but they made one tonight," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We should've been on the power play in overtime in the worst case. It was disappointing. I thought we played well enough to at least get a point, maybe two. It's just one of those things that happen. Over the year, we're going to get a break."
Kronwall wasn't so sure it was a penalty.
"Initially, I thought it was his stick on my hands but again everything happened so fast," he said. "Regardless, though, I can't let that happen."
The Ducks (1-1-0) weren't surprised Getzlaf came through with the game-winning goal.
"He does that time and time again," Anaheim coach Bruce Bodreau said. "He comes up with the big play time after time. He did it again."
Matt Beleskey, who scored the Ducks' second goal, agreed.
"That's your captain. That's why he's your captain," Beleskey said. "He's there at the end of the game. Great goal. Great goal."
Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen made 27 saves.
"I thought tonight, we played how the Ducks play," Beleskey said. "We played tough down low, close to the net. Got some greasy goals."
Luke Glendening and Gustav Nyquist scored for the Red Wings (1-1-0). Howard stopped 23 shots.
"I thought we played well enough to earn a point at least, but unfortunately they got a goal at the end," Nyquist said.
Nyquist gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead 1:57 into the third period on a wrist shot from the left circle after faking a slap shot. But Beleskey, who is from Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River from Detroit, tied the game 1:21 later when he beat Howard with a one-timer from the slot after a turnover by Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith behind the net.
Getzlaf scored the game's first goal, his first of the season, 1:13 into the second period. He put in a loose puck from the slot after Howard lost it to Ducks forward Patrick Maroon behind the net. Corey Perry couldn't get a hold of the puck when it first popped out in front, but Getzlaf raced in to rip a one-timer past Howard, who had gotten back in the crease but was not set.
Glendening tied it 1-1 with 4:27 left in the second. He scored on a backhand shot off the rush from the bottom of the left circle. He beat Andersen to the short side; the shot went in off the Anaheim goaltender.
It was Glendening's first goal of the season, second of his career.
Andersen got a bit of revenge, though, in the period's final seconds when he stopped Glendening on a shorthanded breakaway.
Ducks rookie center William Karlsson, making his NHL debut, hit the post from the right circle on a 2-on-1 rush with a little more than three minutes left in the second period.
Anaheim outshot Detroit 9-5 in a close-checking first period in which there were few chances for either team.
Maroon tipped a shot off the goal post 5:19 into the game during a power play with Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson off for interference. Detroit forward Tomas Tatar hit the crossbar with 7:13 left in the opening period during a power play with the Ducks' Sami Vatanen in the penalty box for interference.