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Past two Cup champs set to battle it out

by Rocky Bonanno / Detroit Red Wings
As you would expect, the NHL's last two Stanley Cup champions played a hard-fought, spirited four-game regular season series in 2008-09 that produced three one-goal games. What could these teams do for an encore in the postseason? We'll find out soon enough.

"I don't know if it's ever good facing Detroit," coach Randy Carlyle said after his eighth-seeded Ducks finished an upset of top-seeded San Jose on Monday night. "But we're not focusing on Detroit right now. We'll focus on that (Tuesday)."

No doubt, Carlyle's preparation will include watching tape of all four regular-season meetings between Anaheim and Detroit, and here's what he'll find: the Red Wings took three of four, outscored and outshot the Ducks 15-11 and 152-104, respectively, and earned seven of eight possible points in the standings. Each squad excelled on the power play, with Detroit converting on five of 20 chances (25 percent) and Anaheim going 5-for-18 (27.8).

Detroit and Anaheim have met in the postseason on four previous occasions, each winning two series. In the 18 total games, the Red Wings have a 10-8 advantage in wins and have outscored the Ducks 53-40. They last met in the 2007 Western Conference Finals, won by Anaheim in six games.

Here is how these teams fared during their regular-season matchups.

Oct. 29: Detroit 4 at Anaheim 5 (OT)

The Red Wings entered the game with a record of 7-1-1 and a five-game win streak. The Ducks were rolling as well, winners of four straight and five of their last six. It was a seesaw battle that saw each team blow a lead before defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored at 1:39 of overtime for the Ducks.

Anaheim's Teemu Selanne scored his 21st career hat trick (all on the power play) and Ryan Getzlaf had a career-high five assists.
I don't know if it's ever good facing Detroit. But we're not focusing on Detroit right now. We'll focus on that (Tuesday). - Randy Carlyle

The Red Wings led 3-1 late in the second period with two goals coming from Pavel Datsyuk. Selanne began the comeback with his second goal with less than a minute remaining in the period. He completed his hat trick at 4:50 of the third to tie the score, and Brian Sutherby put the Ducks ahead 4-3 at 12:56. Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg scored with 1:23 remaining to force overtime.

"These kind of games are tough ones from the standpoint that you're playing the best team in the League and they push you to the limit just to compete with them," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We started to grind and play more of our type of game, and things turned our way."

Dec. 1: Anaheim 1 at Detroit 2

Despite outshooting the Ducks 47-16, the Red Wings won by only a goal thanks to the brilliant goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who escaped with a no-decision. After stopping 38 shots -- 19 in each of the first two periods -- Giguere was removed before the start of the third due to a groin cramp. Backup Jonas Hiller allowed Marian Hossa to score 1:48 into the third period to break the tie.

"We tried to stay patient. We were, I think, all over them and we outshot them," Hossa said.

Hossa beat Hiller from the right circle to convert a 2-on-1 pass from Dan Cleary. Hossa hesitated before shooting, which threw Hiller off. "I was expecting one-timer and I was already down," Hiller said.
Chris Kunitz gave Anaheim a lead only 1:50 into the game. Johan Franzen tied it late in the second period.

Jan. 14: Detroit 4 at Anaheim 3

With Detroit trailing 3-2 midway through the third period, Daniel Cleary and Johan Franzen scored 35 seconds apart to rally the Red Wings to victory.

"We got some good speed in their zone the last two periods and got on their defensemen, and got the puck behind them a little bit more, which made it hard for their defensemen to do something constructive with the puck," Franzen said. "It's hard to play against us."

Franzen scored the eventual winning goal by batting the puck into the net after Datsyuk took a shot from the left circle and the puck bounced high off Giguere. Jiri Hudler and Tomas Holmstrom scored earlier for Detroit, and Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall each recorded two assists. Goaltender Chris Osgood made 25 saves for Detroit.

Ryan Getzlaf led Anaheim with a goal and two assists, and Corey Perry and Steve Montador added goals.

Feb. 20: Anaheim 2 at Detroit 5

Red Wings backup goaltender Ty Conklin made his only appearance against the Ducks and stopped 24 shots for his 11th straight home victory.

After surrendering a power-play goal to Getzlaf only 52 seconds into the first period, Detroit stormed back with four straight scores to stake Conklin to a 4-1 lead early in the third. The back-breaker was Datsyuk's power-play goal with 34 seconds remaining in the first period that put the Red Wings ahead for good.

Zetterberg had a goal and two assists, and Cleary, Franzen and Kris Draper also scored. Rookie Bobby Ryan also scored for Anaheim, and Selanne had two assists.

Contact Rocky Bonanno at

Author: Rocky Bonanno | Staff Writer

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