Given the result, it can be easy to suggest the Anaheim Ducks had an emotional letdown Friday night against the Detroit Red Wings, given they pulled off a dramatic third-period comeback to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in a battle of the top two teams in the Western Conference two days before.
The Ducks, also riding a 12-game point streak and with a chance to get within a point of the Blackhawks in the conference standings, fell flat by a score of 5-1 to the Red Wings.
The Wings’ Justin Abdelkader notched the hat trick.
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if there was a letdown from his team. His response was recorded on the Ducks’ official Twitter account, seen below:
Things started out well for the Ducks. Teemu Selanne opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period, but it got progressively worse for Anaheim after that.
The Red Wings scored five unanswered goals.
“After the first goal they got, we were sort of dead in the water the rest of the game,” Boudreau told the Orange County Register.
“I thought the first 10 minutes, we were all over them. We weren’t very good the last 50 minutes.”
Good news for the Ducks: they face the Red Wings again, on home ice, Sunday.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: