The Anaheim Ducks finished second in the Western Conference standings, but will be pushed to the limit by the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Red Wings forced a seventh and deciding game with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Ducks on Friday. The Ducks found themselves down two goals with less than four minutes remaining in the third period, but forced overtime with goals 51 seconds apart.
Henrik Zetterberg scored twice for Detroit, including in the winner.
Zetterberg also had an assist for a three-point night. His teammate, Pavel Datsyuk, also had three points in the win.
Meanwhile, the duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf combined for just one assist, which came on Bobby Ryan’s tying goal that sent the game to overtime.
The Red Wings’ big-name players were simply better than the Ducks’ big-name players, at least on Friday.
“I think we need more out of Corey, out of [Getzlaf]; I mean, we rely on them,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told NHL.com.
“But we’ve been a four-line team all year long. The Palmieris and the Etems are the guys playing as good as anybody right now. If we can equalize Zetterberg and Datsyuk, I think we’ve got a good chance.”