Neither team played polished hockey tonight in Anaheim, but it was the Red Wings taking advantage of Ducks miscues to win 4-0.
The Red Wings scored 1:09 into the first when Valterri Filppula took advantage of an errant pass from Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, and set-up Johan Franzen for his 11th goal of the season.
Sloppy hockey by the Wings led to shots and chances for the Ducks, but Jimmy Howard turned aside 41 shots heading to his 15th victory, and second shutout of the season. Big saves from Howard early in the first kept the Wings ahead, and a nice save with seven minutes left helped Howard secure his shutout.
Tomas Holmstrom scored his seventh of the season with 5:58 left in the second period banging home a rebound from Henrik Zetterberg. The assist was Zetterberg’s 500th point of his NHL career. Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk started the game matched up with Danny Cleary, but coach Mike Babcock continued to switch up his lines to great effect.
Cleary scored his team-leading 12th goal four minutes later when he redirected a shot from Brian Rafalski past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. Hiller faced 29 shots from the Wings, and made some great saves to keep the Ducks in the game until Cleary’s goal extended the lead.
Filppula continued playing consistent hockey adding a goal with 30 seconds left in the game. It was his seventh of the season, and his second point of the night. Filppula has two goals and two assists since the Wings lost Mike Modano with a wrist injury against the Columbus Blue Jackets one week ago.
The Ducks were averaging 15 penalty minutes a game coming into tonight, but were only penalized once when Jason Blake was called for roughing with 14:15 to go in the third period. The Wings failed to convert on the power play.
Tonight was the 14th straight start for Howard. This streak will end tomorrow night when Chris Osgood will make his return between the pipes for the Wings against the Los Angeles Kings. Kris Draper is also expected to make his first appearance of the season. Draper’s return may mean the rotation of Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller on the Wings fourth line may start again.
The Wings finish off their first trip to California this season when they visit the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night. The puck drops at 10:30 EST.
About the Author
Written by Jeremy Klumpp
I am a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Electronic Media and Film. For two years I wrote a baseball blog, "Ground Rule Double," and have contributed to a book on the 1968 Detroit Tigers. If you want to read my non-sports thoughts head to jklumpp1.posterous.com.