May 2, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) reacts after center Gustav Nyquist (14) scores the game winning goal for the victory against the Anaheim Ducks during the overtime period in game two of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Red Wings 5, Ducks 4 (OT): Wings Even Series Via Nyquist Goal In Overtime

The Red Wings started quickly as Justin Abdelkader rifled one past Jonas Hiller in the first minute of the game.  Damien Brunner scored just a few moments later, and the Ducks found themselves down 2-0 within the first five minutes of Game 2. The Ducks looked jittery on home ice while the Wings looked like a confident, energetic side, dominating offensively, defensively, and on special teams. Wings led 2-0 after one.

Sixty-four seconds into the second, Johan Franzen scored on a power play to extend the Wings’ lead to 3-0, with Pavel Datsyuk registering his second assist on the tally, and at this point it seemed over. The Wings were all over the Ducks in the second as well, and not even a Saku Koivu power play goal midway through the period seemed to slow them down. Detroit led Anaheim 3-1 after two.

Franzen scored 20 seconds into the third (his second power play goal, the second one assisted by Brunner) to bring the Wings’ lead to 4-1, and again, it looked over. But it was far from it. A furious rally began in earnest after the goal, as Ryan Getzlaf cut it to 4-2 at 7:50. Less than five minutes later, Teemu Selanne made it a one-goal game as he deflected a Kyle Palmieri shot past Jimmy Howard. The gassed Wings failed to stifle the rally, which was concluded at 17:38, when Bobby Ryan scored on a screened Howard.  Sixty minutes weren’t enough to decide this one, so overtime was needed.

Overtime began with the Wings on a power play via a Sheldon Souray penalty late in the third. The power play had been working all night, and did not disappoint in the overtime period. About 75 seconds in, the Wings had possession in the corner to the left of Hiller. Daniel Cleary made a beautiful backhanded pass to Valtteri Filppula, who toe-dragged his way past Corey Perry and on to Ben Lovejoy, firing a perfect pass through Lovejoy’s legs and over to an open Gustav Nyquist, who beat Hiller at 1:21 to give the Red Wings a monstrous victory.

What a game. The Red Wings scored within the first 90 seconds of each period, living up to Mike Babcock’s creed of “starting on time.”  Their power play was downright lethal, and (for the first 47 minutes) the defense did good work. However, there are still questions despite this critical win. The Ducks again exploited the young Wings’  defense; will that change as the venues change? Howard allowed six goals (not all of which were his fault) in Anaheim; will he revert to shutdown form back at the Joe? The Wings haven’t won a home playoff game in two years; can they win one (or two) this time? These questions and more should be answered on Saturday.

UPDATE: After the game, it was announced that Danny DeKeyser would miss the rest of the playoffs with a broken thumb. Obviously a big loss for Detroit, as DeKeyser had played pretty well since signing with the Wings several weeks ago. This likely means the entry of Carlo Colaiacovo into the lineup for Game 3. We’ll see how this impacts the Wings’ defense moving forward.

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