Western Conference Semifinals, Game 5 (5/10/09)

Today the Ducks were in town to take on the Wings in game five. The goalies were Osgood and Hiller. Lilja, Draper and Rafalski were still out. Kopecky was also out after sustaining an injury in the previous game during a fight with Beauchemin. He may require surgery to repair the damage. Abdelkader was in for Kopecky. Instead of Chelios, Meech was in for this one. Mike Babcock was going with the same top two line combinations that he used in game four.

Detroit started applying the pressure early in this game. Franzen hit the post with a shot inside of the first minute. Abdelkader got off to a fast start as well. He had a couple of big hits early on. Later in the first, Filppula also hit a post. The Wings were doing a great job of setting up plays but were just missing the net. They were clearly dominant at both ends of the ice.

The first period ended without any goals. The Red Wings outshot the Ducks 14 to 3 and obviously were in control of the game. Hiller and his two best friends, the left post and the right post, were the only reason Detroit didn’t have a multiple goal period.

In the second period Detroit broke the scoring drought. Abdelkader got the puck from Franzen near center ice and skated it into Anaheim’s zone. He passed it to Franzen who pulled up and made a move towards the slot. Meanwhile Abdelkader kept going towards the net. Franzen released a shot with Abdelkader in position for the tip. Abdelkader didn’t redirect the puck but he did make it hard for Hiller to get a good look at it.

Just a few seconds later Datsyuk had a breakaway and was all alone against Hiller. He made a nice move but Hiller stayed with him and stopped the shot.

A few more seconds later Zetterberg took a shot that Hiller stopped but it popped straight up in the air. Hudler was crossing in front of the net and batted it out of the air over Hiller’s shoulder and into the net for their second goal. It was just 39 seconds after Franzen’s goal. There was a review to see if it was hit with a high stick but it was a good goal.

Later in the second period Anaheim was on the power play with Kronwall in the penalty box. The puck came back to Ryan Whitney. He moved to Osgood’s left and shot the puck. Stuart was in front of the net trying to block it but he may have just made it tougher for Osgood to see. The puck went by Osgood on the stick side and into the net. He seemed to be frustrated with Stuart after the play. That made it two to one Detroit.

The Wings continued playing very well in the third but Hiller was stopping everything. They had a lot of good scoring chances including one where Kronwall hit the post. That was the third post of the game for the Red Wings.

With about three minutes left in the period Zetterberg ended up on the ice with Helm and Cleary. They had a big pile up in front of the net with everybody whacking at it. It bounced back out and Helm knocked it in. It was Helm’s first playoff goal and it gave Detroit the lead three to one. The Ducks were upset because they felt that Cleary interfered with Hiller. He was definitely in the crease and his skate was behind Hiller’s skate. It was a close call, I can see why they Ducks didn’t like it. After the calls in game three that gave them the win I just don’t have much sympathy for them.

They pulled Hiller with just over a minute and a half to go. Zetterberg bagged the empty net goal again making it four to one. That did it for this game.

The Red Wings dominated at both ends of the ice from start to finish. The Ducks were lucky to be only a goal away from tying for most of the game. It would have been a real tragedy if they had managed to tie it up after being walloped for the entire game

The Red Wings are playing great. Let’s hope they close it out Tuesday night in Anaheim.

This 1-4 win brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 3-2 Detroit.

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