Marchant leads Ducks to 3OT win over Red Wings
Anaheim goalie Hiller outstanding all afternoon
Todd Marchant scored at 1:15 in the third overtime period to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-3 victory over the host Detroit Red Wings on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.
The win ties the best-of-seven NHL Western Conference semifinal 1-1, with Game 3 on Tuesday night in Anaheim.
It was Marchant's second career playoff marker in overtime. The first came in Game 7 of the 1997 playoffs when the Edmonton Oilers shocked the Dallas Stars.
This was Marchant's play right from the beginning as the 35-year-old veteran picked up the puck in his own zone, led a rush into the Wings' end, cut across the blue-line to the left and wired a shot over Chris Osgood's left shoulder for the winner.
"Not many goals get decided off of my stick, that's for sure," said Marchant, who scored just five times in the regular season.
Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller was outstanding, stopping 59 of 62 shots and holding off a Detroit power play in the first overtime.
"I've never gone to double overtime before," the native of Switzerland said. "We have shootouts at home."
Osgood stopped 41 of the 45 shots he faced, but couldn't get a good look at the last one, thanks to a screen by Anaheim's Rob Niedermayer.
"I don't know even where it went," Osgood said.
The loss was the first of the post-season for No. 2-seeded Detroit, which swept Columbus in the opening round.
Franzen sends it to OT
Anaheim, seeded eighth in the Western Conference, led 3-2 going into the third period but Detroit tied it just five minutes in on a play that combined hard work and good positioning.
Daniel Cleary battled for the puck below the goal line and was able to backhand a soft pass to Henrik Zetterberg. The centre changed direction behind the net, came out the other side and found Johan Franzen all alone in a perfect spot.
From there it simply took a sharp little shot under the crossbar to beat Hiller at 5:19 and it was 3-3.
After Anaheim dominated the opening six or seven minutes of the first OT, the ice tipped in the other direction.
It hardly helped when Scott Niedermayer tripped the Wings' Jiri Hudler behind the Ducks' net, sending Detroit to the power play.
Hiller would not give in and the penalty killers kept the puck on the periphery so their keeper could have a chance to see the shots.
The Ducks' backstop made two or three other strong saves before the period ran out.
Detroit outshot the visitors 14-6 in the first overtime.
Detroit had good chances in the opening minutes of the second OT, but could not bury anything.
The teams traded just a few tries for the next 17 minutes and it wasn't until the final seconds that the best chance came up when Pavel Datsyuk wired one that Hiller came up with.
The game's opening goal took about two seconds to go in and five minutes for league officials in Toronto to OK.
A pass from behind the Anaheim net bounced off the skate of Detroit's Brad Stuart to the right of the goal.
From there it pinged off Ducks' defender Scott Niedermayer and ponged off the skate of the other defenceman, James Wisniewski, before winding up in the net at the six-minute mark.
What had the Toronto office concerned was a rule that says if a kicking motion had sent the puck off a teammate and then into the goal without touching the defender's stick, it would be waived off.
A replay determined the puck glanced off a stick.
But Anaheim was back in it just over two minutes later.
First, after rushing into the Detroit zone, Corey Perry found himself surrounded by three red shirts.
He was able to shovel the puck out of the pack to Ryan Getzlaf, who deked both defender Niklas Lidstrom and goaltender Osgood before putting the puck in for 1-1.
"In my mind, he's the best player in the league," Anaheim's Teemu Selanne said of Getzlaf, who entered the day tied for the lead in playoff scoring. "If there's a better one all-around player, show him to me."
Stuart then received something of a phantom penalty and the Ducks took immediate advantage.
Chris Pronger took a pass from Getzlaf at the point and lasered one past Osgood's blocker for Anaheim's second goal in 34 seconds.
Sleepy second for Detroit
All that work went for naught.
Late in the opening frame, the Wings broke out on the transition that eventually went to Mikael Samuelsson, who put a backhand right through Hiller's five-hole.
Tied 2-2, Anaheim came out of the dressing room to start the second period.
On a power play, Scott Niedermayer fired a shot from the point just as he was getting hit by a Wings' defender. The puck went wide of Osgood on the left side but bounced off the end boards and out to Ryan Carter.
Before the Detroit goalie could get back over, Carter put his second of the playoffs into the wide-open cage and it was 3-2 Ducks.
It was a sleepy second for the Wings, who were outshot 11-6 in the frame.