Red Wings fueled by Franzen
Johan Franzen usually blends in behind the Detroit Red Wings' other stars.
Unless it's the playoffs.
Franzen scored his seventh goal of the postseason, helping Detroit beat the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 4-1, yesterday. The defending Stanley Cup champions' dominating performance gave them a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
Franzen led the way as he did during the playoffs last year. He has 20 goals since the start of last year's title run, a 25-game postseason span.
The Swede acknowledged being amazed by his scoring tear. "Maybe I'm a little bit surprised," he said.
Game 6 will be tomorrow night at Anaheim.
Franzen scored the first goal at 3:23 of the second period. He skated up the right boards, swooped into the circle, and flicked a wrist shot high on Jonas Hiller after many of Detroit's first 16 shots were low.
"We're giving him a lot of shots every night, so maybe we're wearing him out a little bit," Franzen said. "I think it's more that we know where to shoot on him."
Detroit's Jiri Hudler, Darren Helm, and Henrik Zetterberg scored after Franzen.
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With Chicago on a power play and the puck on Patrick Kane's stick, David Bolland found a soft spot behind the defense and trusted the puck was coming. The hardest part was waiting.
When the puck finally arrived, Bolland patiently gathered it and then snapped a shot past the stick of a diving Roberto Luongo and into an empty net. The goal with 5:05 left gave the Blackhawks the lead they turned into a 4-2 victory in Vancouver Saturday night.
Martin Havlat added an empty-net goal with 62 seconds left.
With the victory, the Blackhawks took a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series. Game 6 is tonight in Chicago.
Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell set up a pair of goals by Dustin Byfuglien, including the tying tally during a power play in the second period.