Apparently the Ducks are not going to lay off the Red Wings like they did against the Sharks in the first round. They returned to the typical Anaheim modus operandi for Round 2, late hits, fights, an overwhelming PIM/sanity ratio.
The fireworks started early in Detroit's 3-2 win in Game 1. After clanging a shot off the post, Perry hammered home a nice feed from Ryan Getzlaf to open the scoring at 7:28 in the first. Later in the period Jiri Hudler was skating into his own zone while backhanding a pass up through the neutral zone. While he was focused on the puck, Anaheim's Mike Brown connected with a brutal shoulder check to the head.
Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle had this to say to the media in the post-game press conference:
"Hudler was admiring his pass," Carlyle said. "They can say all they want about a dirty hit. That wasn't a dirty hit. You're allowed to take the body in this game." And Carlyle and his staff actually watched the video and timed the window between Hudler delivering the pass and Brown checking him. "Physical contact is allowed," Carlyle said. "We timed the hit from the time he passed the puck ... there wasn't a second that went off the clock."
There was no elbow, but it was a clear blindside hit to the head. It could have gone either way, but the NHL let the decision on the ice stand and ruled out any suspension. Brown was given a 5 minute interference major, and a 10 minute game misconduct. During the regular season the checking line center had 19 fighting majors according to Hockeyfights.com, but in the first round WCQF series against San Jose MIke Brown performed in a solid shutdown role, playing the body hard but clean.
Johan Franzen blew by a pair of Ducks, drove the net and punched home the equalizing goal for the Wings on the power play. Franzen's 3rd goal of the playoffs, assisted by Lidstrom and Osgood. Swedish defenseman Jonathan Ericsson stood up for the motherland and delivered a blunt message to Corey Perry with his fists, "I drink your milkshake". Still on the power play, three quick passes around the offensive zone result in another point blank opportunity for Franzen, Hiller is there to shut down the lower part of the net, but he did leave a juicy rebound. How do you say rebound in Swiss? On that play, H-I-L-L-E-R.
Nicklas Lidstrom scored the first of his 2 goals on a second period power play at 14:24. He wound up on a slapshot from the top of the faceoff circle, and hammered it by a set Jonas Hiller. Defenseman Ryan Whitney was battling Tomas Holmstrom in front of the net. According to the Versus broadcast, Holmstrom gained position on Whitney and provided a screen on Hiller. They showed his defensive parter Chris Pronger explaining the play to him on the bench afterwards. Later in the period it was Pronger gaining body position on a Red Wing at the net, with his body in front blocking the shot instead of behind providing a screen.
Teemu Selanne waited until the 6th and final game to score his first goal in the WCQF against the Sharks, against Detroit in the semis he waited until the end of the second period in Game 1. Selanne hammered home a power play goal from a sharp angle to tie the game at 2-2 with 17 seconds left in the period.
The Ducks bent, but did not break in the third period despite being outshot 18-7. Jonas Hiller made the save of the period early, as Johan Franzen stepped out of the penalty box and was denied on a breakaway attempt. Anaheim successfully killed off a tripping penalty on Todd Marchant, and a hooking penalty on James Wizniewski, and finished 4-6 on the PK. Bobby Ryan, hero of Round 1, took a cross-ice pass from Whitney deep in the offensive zone. Staring down an open net with Chris Osgood 10 feet out of position, Ryan snapped a shot short side with only Henrik Zetterberg in front of him. Zetterberg used his soccer skills to make the skate save, game still tied 2-2.
A pair of Red Wings stumble moving the puck through the neutral zone late in the third, but they still get it in and Daniel Cleary gains possession just inside the blueline. Cleary stops and pops a short pass to a driving Lidstrom. Two players try to close on Nicklas, but a very quick release gets a low shot on net. Franzen again is on the doorstep creating traffic, again he is inside of his defenseman and set up on the doorstep, this time on Pronger. Lidstrom keeps moving towards the net, Perry and Ryan do not. As Jonas Hiller is searching for the rebound, the 5-hole opens slightly and Nicklas Lidstrom buries the game winning goal with 50 seconds left in the 3rd.
3-2 win for Detroit, time to let loose with the octopi. Detroit outhit Anaheim 36-24, and dominated the faceoff circle 36-15. Pavel Datsyuk was 12-4, Henrik Zetterberg 16-7, and Darren Helm 4-1. Ryan Getzlaf finished 3-18 from the dot, Todd Marchant finished with a respectable 11-10. Anaheim blocked 15 shots to Detroit's 7. Chris Osgood finished with 22 saves on 24 shots for his 5th straight win of the postseason. Jonas Hiller stopped 34 of 37 shots against.