The Detroit Red Wings’ and Anaheim Ducks‘ special teams have been the story this playoff series so far. Seven of the thirteen goals scored this series have been on the power play, with four of them courtesy of the Red Wings.
The power play was the key for the Red Wings victory in game 2 as they scored three of their five goals on the power play, including the game winning goal by Gustav Nyquist.
With power play goals being a factor in the series, the penalty kill becomes a much more important aspect. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have seen time on the PK, but mainstays Cory Emmerton and Joakim Andersson will have to continue step up their play.
On the back end, the defensemen will have to keep shutting down the passing and shooting lanes. Kronwall, Quincey, and Smith have been decent on the penalty kill, but they let too many shots get to the net in game 2.
This is one of the reasons Mike Babcock decided on playing Brian Lashoff over Carlo Colaiacovo and Ian White. Lashoff is a defensive defenseman, who plays on the penalty kill and moves his body into shooting lanes to block shots.
The series could come down to special teams play and if the Red Wings want to move on to the next round then their power play and penalty kill must continue to be a factor.