Wings sink Ducks
DETROIT - Nicklas Lidstrom usually plays a subtle style of hockey appreciated most by coaches, players, and die-hard fans.
The Red Wings defenseman's latest performance, though, was so spectacular it impressed Detroit's opponent.
"Special player," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.
Lidstrom scored his second goal of the game with 49.1 seconds left and had an assist, lifting the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Ducks last night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series.
Lidstrom is a finalist for the Norris Trophy. If he is honored as the best defenseman for the seventh time, he'll tie Doug Harvey's total and pull within one of Bobby Orr's record collection.
Despite turning 39 this week, Lidstrom simply hasn't lost a step. He started the winning play behind his net, skated up ice, shot, and put back a rebound.
"It came off my pad and he was there all alone," Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller said. "He was patient enough to wait until I moved."
Lidstrom scored a go-ahead goal for the defending Stanley Cup champions in the second period. He assisted on Johan Franzen's goal that tied the game in the first following Detroit's only deficit of the playoffs, drawing praise from his coach.
Chris Osgood had 22 saves to improve to 5-0 in this year's playoffs. Hiller stopped 34 shots for the Ducks, who got goals from Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne.
"I'm upset from the standpoint that I thought we missed an opportunity tonight," Carlyle said.
Ducks forward Mike Brown was ejected in the first period, appearing to land an elbow to the head of defenseless Jiri Hudler.
The game was delayed briefly while Hudler was helped off the ice and blood was scraped off it. A towel was pressed against a cut above Hudler's left eye. Hudler returned in the second period.