DETROIT – Just like it has a lot of the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings power play let them down once again.
And this time it was just after stealing home-ice advantage away from the Anaheim Ducks in their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
With nearly 10 minutes of man-advantage time on six opportunities, the Wings were held off the scoreboard Saturday night as the Ducks skated past Detroit, 4-0, at Joe Louis Arena to take home-ice back in the best-of-seven series.
To make the Wings’ power play look even worse, Anaheim also scored a goal shorthanded.
“We didn’t score,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We had some good chances. I thought we tried to pass the puck into the net instead of try to shoot the puck in the net. As a coach standing on the bench and you’re getting all the power play chances in the first period at some point you don’t want them, but If we score three great, but if you don’t you’d rather play 5-on-5.”
Nick Bonino and Matt Beleskey scored on the power play and Ryan Getzlaf netted the shorthanded goal, while Jonas Hiller made 23 saves to lead the Ducks. Emerson Etem also scored for Anaheim.
Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.
The win gives Anaheim, which scored three of its four goals Saturday in the third period, a 2-1 lead in the series.
Game 4 is Monday at 8 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.
“They scored twice on the power play and that’s why they won the game tonight,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “We had a lot of opportunities. We had some good looks, but just couldn’t find a way to get the job done. That’s why we lost tonight.”
The Wings’ power play was effective in Game 2, scoring three times with the man advantage.
“For the last couple of games we had our power play going and today we just couldn’t score,” defenseman Jakub Kindl said. “It’s a tight series. They scored so our special teams have to be way better too.”
The Ducks went 2-for-6 on the power play, netting the first goal of the game on their fourth chance.
With Justin Abdelkader being sent off for a five-minute charging call, which included a game misconduct, the Ducks scored 18 seconds into the non-releasing penalty.
Abdelkader was sent off with just under five minutes in the second period after hitting defenseman Toni Lydman high.
It took the officials a few minutes to decide how to call the infraction before sending Abdelkader out for the game.
Then, just 18 seconds after the call the Ducks scored the first goal of the game.
After taking a feed down low from Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry got the puck down low and tried to jam it in on the short side of Howard. The puck squirted out in front of the crease where Bonino swooped in to backhand his shot into the back of the net.
The goal was Bonino’s second of the playoffs.
“Everything goes really fast out there,” Kronwall said. “I didn’t see (it). They said he was coming with too much speed that’s why he got kicked out. I thought the hit itself, just looking briefly at the replay, looked like it was shoulder to shoulder, but if he took too many strides that’s how it is.
“You always try and go full body contact,” Kronwall added. “I thought the impact itself was fine. I haven’t seen enough of the replay, but it didn’t look like the impact itself wasn’t the problem.”
The league will review the hit to see if Abdelkader will get any more discipline, like a suspension or fine. Lydman did not return to the game, which could also play an impact on how the league looks at the hit.
“I’m not going to say anything about the hit,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I just want our guy to be OK. Right now he just has a headache. He’s not feeling like celebrating now. We’re hoping he’s not out too long. We’d like to see him back on the ice tomorrow but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
The Wings’ fifth power play chance turned into the Ducks’ second goal.
As Damien Brunner began to skate the puck out of the Wings’ zone, Getzlaf poked the puck off his stick and then slide a soft shot under Howard, who had rushed out of his crease to try and nudge it away from the Ducks’ captain.
Just 1:31 later, Anaheim made it 3-0 when Teemu Selanne made a pretty backhand pass before going behind the Wings’ goal to Etem, who was all alone in front of Howard and beat him blocker side.
Beleseky put Detroit’s hopes of making any kind of comeback out of reach when he scored the Ducks’ second power play goal in the third period after a nice feed from Saku Koivu.
The Ducks staged a third period comeback in Game 2 after falling behind 4-1. Detroit eventually regained its composure and beat Anaheim in overtime, 5-4.
The Wings had a golden opportunity to get out in front in the first period, but failed to score on five minutes and 20 seconds of power play, which included 1:20 of 4-on-3 and 40 seconds of 5-on-3.
They could only muster up four shots on goal with the man advantage in the first period.
Earlier in the period, Johan Franzen went end-to-end on a breakaway, but his shot caught Hiller’s stick up high.
The Ducks, who outshot Detroit 13-7 after one period, got a go on the power play late in the period, 37 seconds of which was 5-on-3, but also failed to score.