Abby and Howard go Duck Huntin’! Detroit Red Wings: 5 – Anaheim Ducks: 1

March 22, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader (8) is congratulated by defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55), center Pavel Datsyuk (13) and left wing Johan Franzen (93) after scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Really quickly, for like the ten people who regularly read my posts that don’t share my last name: remember all those previous recaps? The ones where I shamed Justin Abdelkader and said that Datsyuk deserves better linemates? Remember at one point where I said Abdelkader barely belongs in the NHL?

WHO SHOWED HIM THOSE.

Because clearly, he read them. And his next step, after embarrassing me with a series of three goals that Pavel Datsyuk only owns 30% of this time, is going to be to come to my house and drop the gloves. I’m a kid. I’m like, 160 pounds soaking wet, with glasses and skinny jeans. As I write this, I’m drinking something with aloe vera pulp in it. And you sent Justin Abdelkader after me.

Thanks guys. I’ll call you from the hospital.

But, while I still have my health, I guess I’ll tell you about the Anaheim Ducks’ absolute destruction at the hands of your Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. It started off kinda shaky, believe it or not. Everyone started the game doing their best Kyle-Quincey-In-St.-Louis impression, and predictably, the Ducks opened the scoring after Kyle Palmieri and Teemu Selanne teamed up and skated by every single red and white jersey on the ice to tap the puck past Jimmy Howard. Speaking of Howard, the score would have been so much worse, even in the first, if it wasn’t for him. I hope he earns the nod as Team USA’s starter in Sochi. Aaaaand speaking of Americans, Detroit got the equalizer from another one – Justin Abdelkader, who powered around Sheldon Souray and cut in front of the net before splitting the pads of Viktor Fasth to make the score 1-1. The play took a turn for the better at that point,  and it wasn’t long before the Wings scored again. On a powerplay…on the road. I think Datsyuk got tired of seeing that big goose egg in the statbook, because he made that goal (his 250th, by the way) look easy.

See, at this point I was content with labeling Abdelkader’s game as a success. But no – he wasn’t done. He scored another goal just 3:06 into the period to chase Viktor Fasth out of the net, and then, nine minutes later, he put another one past replacement goalie Jonas Hiller to make the score 4-1. Oh, Datsyuk also got his 500th career assist on that goal.

(Let’s break for a minute, and take some time to appreciate that Datsyuk scored his 250th goal, and got his 500th assist as well as his 750th point in the SAME GAME. Even on paper, the things this guy does are perfect. What’s it gonna be like in 2014-2015 without him? Let’s go back to the article so we don’t have to think about that.)

March 22, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) moves the puck up ice against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Things started to get kinda chippy after that. A pair of fights at the end of the second period, one between Jonathan Ericsson and Ryan Getzlaf (who’s annoying, by the way), and the other between Brian Lashoff and Kyle Palmieri, left the Wings with just four defensemen for a few minutes of play, but also took away two of Anaheim’s best scoring forwards – good trades both, in my opinion, as Detroit looked just fine without those two to start the third period.

The final stanza of this one was boring, as it usually is in games where one team is up by three after the first two. Good, hard fought hockey, but Detroit clearly had the pace under their control, and they slowed the game down to their own comfort level. Howard still had to look sharp occasionally, but he has for the past month, so that wasn’t an issue. The end got interesting again though, when Franzen scored his sixth goal of the season with just under five minutes remaining, and more importantly, Abdelkader ALMOST got his fourth goal of the game. Datsyuk also got another assist…I almost wish he would’ve ended with that perfect statline we talked about earlier, but hey, a win’s a win right?

I liked Brendan Smith‘s hit and fight against Bobby Ryan. A lot. Especially with that instigator penalty too. Made Smith look classy as %*#& and Ryan look like…well, %*#&. Although putting Cory Emmerton and Patrick Eaves out on the powerplay at the end like that seems to me like kind of a low blow.

I have no random thoughts because every part of my brain that isn’t hockey related fell asleep awhile ago, so here’s a few stars:

1st Star: Justin Abdelkader – 3 G, 1 A, 4 P, +4, 13:40 TOI

2nd Star: Jimmy Howard – 34 SA, 33 Saves, .971 SV%

3rd Star: Pavel Datsyuk – 1 G, 2 A, 3 P, +4, 16:59 TOI

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter: @dzkefalas

Topics: Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Justin Abdelkader, NHL, Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Getzlaf

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