The Detroit Red Wings had a chance to take a commanding lead on the Anaheim Ducks late in the second period, and failed.
Anaheim Ducks’ forward Daniel Winnik was handed a major penalty for boarding when he hit Daniel Cleary from behind into the end boards, giving the Red Wings a five-minute power play in which to increase what was at the time a one-goal lead on the road.
But the Red Wings were unsuccessful, and 13 seconds after the Winnik penalty expired, Ryan Getzlaf got the Ducks on even terms.
Nick Bonino would win it for Anaheim in overtime.
The Ducks took Game 5 of the Western Conference quarter-final by a final of 3-2 and now lead the series by the same advantage.
“There’s lots of coulda, woulda, shoulda stuff,” Red Wings’ head coach Mike Babcock told NHL.com.
“The bottom line is, a playoff game, we hit three posts tonight they didn’t go in. That’s life. I thought they were way better than us in the first, I thought we were way better than them in the second, I thought the third was even, and they scored in OT.”
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.