The Wings and the Ducks returned to Anaheim for game five after splitting the two games in Detroit. With the series tied at 2 games a piece, all pressure was on the Ducks to win at home, and have two chances to beat Detroit and advance to the Conference Semi-Finals. Detroit had an opportunity to win in Anaheim, where they were 3-1 this season, and go home where they would have the chance to send Anaheim home in six. Two very desperate teams came out to battle again just like the four games before.
Game five, in my opinion, the most important game in a close series. The Detroit Red Wings struck first on the road, when Johan Franzen scored on the power play 5:28 into the first period. Kyle Palmieri answered for the Ducks with a little over 2 minutes left in the first. Half way through the second period, Mikael Samuelsson scored to give the Wings a one goal advantage. The Ducks answered back once again late in the period, when Ryan Getzlaf wristed a shot passed Jimmy Howard on the power play. The third period saw no goals, so on to overtime we went for the second night in a row. A couple of minutes in, Ben Lovejoy skated the puck deep and tried to throw it to the net and missed the puck, so he skated below the goal line and cut back to the front and set up Nick Bonino for the overtime winner to give the Ducks the 3-2 series lead.
So back to Detroit the two teams went, all pressure on Detroit to win or end their season. The first period didn’t see many chances either way. Anaheim killed the only penalty called in the first period, but Pavel Datsyuk finally opened the scoring with just over a minute left in the first. A little over half way through the second period, Kyle Palmieri took a shot from the right side, the puck pinged off of the post and went off of Detroit defender Brendan Smith and into the net. An unfortunate goal for Detroit, but if you’re Anaheim, you’ll take that goal any day. Tied up at 1, a few minutes into the third period, Palmieri was called for high sticking. Henrik Zetterberg answered the call and scored to give the Wings a 2-1 lead with their season on the line. A little over 5 minutes later, Justin Abdelkader, who just returned from his two game suspension, threw the puck on net and Dan Cleary deflected it in to put the Wings up 3-1. With 3:28 remaining in regulation, Emerson Etem scored when Valtteri Filppula skated the puck behind his net, and through back behind him. The puck took an awkward bounce, and the Ducks took advantage of the Wings being out of position, and Etem smacked in an easy goal to bring the Ducks within 1. Less than a minute later, Saku Koivu dumped the puck in for Corey Perry who threw it around the boards to Francois Beauchemin. Beauchemin shot the puck toward the net and set up Bobby Ryan for game tying goal. Once again, the Wings and Ducks were headed to overtime, the fourth time in the series, and the third game in a row. The Wings came out pressing early, and Henrik Zetterberg, once again came up huge for the Wings. Zetterberg shot from the top of the face off circle and the puck was deflected by two Ducks on its way into the net.
The Wings tied the series at 3, and forced a game seven back in Anaheim. It should be nothing less than stellar for the entire 60 minutes. Hopefully, we won’t have to see another heart-stopping overtime, and these players can have a little rest before moving on. Although, I can’t say I that I wouldn’t like to see a game seven overtime winner. It should be good. The Wing and the Ducks kick of game seven on Sunday night at 10pm eastern.
Topics: 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Anaheim Ducks, Ben Lovejoy, Bobby Ryan, Brendan Smith, Corey Perry, Dan Cleary, Detroit Red Wings, Emerson Etem, Francois Beauchemin, Game 5, Game 6, Game Seven, Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Justin Abdelkader, Kyle Palmieri, Mikael Samuelsson, Nick Bonino, Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koive, Veltteri Filppula