The Detroit Red Wings won Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with the Anaheim Ducks. If you went to bed at around Midnight ET on Thursday night, you probably suspected they would. But you would've missed a huge scare put into Detroit that nearly put their season on the brink.
The Red Wings scored twice in the first 4:20 in Game 2, as a wicked Justin Abdelkader wrist shot beat Jonas Hiller at 48 seconds. A Damian Brunner wrister off a turnover made it 2-0 early. The Wings added another at 1:04 of the second when Johan Franzen tipped in a Brunner shot to make it 3-0 after a little over 21 minutes of play. The Ducks found a way into the game when Saku Koivu put home a Teemu Selanne rebound to make it 3-1.
It seemed unlikely they'd come back, however, and it got more unlikely when Johan Franzen put home a rebound off a crazy scramble to make it 4-1 at 20 seconds of the third period. The Ducks fought back, though, as this is a Bruce Boudreau team, and one capable of scoring goals.
Ryan Getzlaf got things going, putting home a ridiculous backhand from a weird angle, top shelf on Jimmy Howard. The Ducks then scored at five-minute intervals the rest of the way. Kyle Palmieri beat Howard on a pinpoint wrister to make it 4-3. Then Bobby Ryan put home a give and go with Cam Fowler with just 2:22 left in regulation to make it 4-4. The Red Wings had given up a 4-1 lead, and were now an overtime goal away from being down 2-0 in a first round series for the second consecutive year.
The Red Wings had a get-out-of-jail free card, however, in the form of a terrible Sheldon Souray penalty with 38 seconds to go in regulation. He hacked the hell out of Abdelkader's leg, and got two minutes for his trouble. The Red Wings cashed on the power play in overtime, on an incredible pass from Valtteri Filppula to Gustav Nyquist, with the young Swede cashing in to tie the series.
The best-of-seven moves to Detroit on Saturday night, where someone will look to take control of this series.
1. When will Corey Perry get on the board?
The former Hart Trophy winner is scoreless in the first two games. That is unacceptable for Anaheim, and -- despite their wealth of offensive talent -- unacceptable if the Ducks want to win this series. Getzlaf, Selanne, Ryan and Koivu have all cashed in at least once so far in the first two games. Perry -- a man with a 50-goal season to his name -- must put up some points if the Ducks want to remain in this.
2. Which Red Wing team shows up?
The Red Wings have looked Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times in the first two games. There was the listless team you saw in the third period of both games, then there's the team capable of playing really well, as they did early in Games 1 & 2, and the one that found their groove on the power play to win Game 2. At some point, you have to start seeing some consistency from Detroit.
3. Can the Ducks improve their breakout?
Anaheim was absolutely dreadful getting the puck out of their zone five-on-five on Thursday. A Teemu Selanne turnover on an attempted breakout lead to the second Red Wing goal, and the Ducks attack just looked limp overall when trying to enter the Detroit zone. Until the third period, of course. The Ducks need a better attack plan in all three zones if they don't want to fall behind early again.