When the Ducks visit Detroit, wins are in short supply. Anaheim has been in the NHL since 1993. In the regular season, the Ducks have a whopping three wins total in those 17 years. Three. March 30, 1997. March 19, 2002. February 10, 2008.
Anaheim came really, really close to adding another date for the record books. At the very least, coming away with a point that was within their grasp.
Instead, the Ducks left frustrated and with another road loss for the season, this one 5-4, with Pavel Datsyuk scoring the game winner with a mere :11.4 seconds left in the game.
Henrik Zetterberg got his first of two goals at 7:42 of the first period. It was the first power play goal that the Ducks had yielded since October 15. Then again, three consecutive power plays by Detroit is asking for trouble.
Teemu Selanne, who had one of the Ducks four goals, was not happy with the officiating in the first period. Considering he received an elbow/shoulder to his face from Niklas Kronwall that was not called, he had a right to be angry.
Eric Stephens, from the Orange County Register, tweeted some of Selanne's post-game quotes.
"As long as I’ve played here, it’s always the same story. You almost know. They get at least three power plays in the first period."
"Every 50-50 call is going to go in their favor. We knew it. It’s not a secret for anybody."
"That guy is dangerous out there," Selanne referred to Kronwall. "One of these days, somebody’s going to get him. I know that. It’s just a matter of time when."
The Ducks should have been credited for keeping their cool, something they completely abandoned when they were last in Detroit on October 8.
Bobby Ryan, who was elbowed by Ruslan Salei in front of an official, but again, no call, tied up the game at 19:38. The best revenge is scoring goals and the Ducks took a tied game into the second period.
They extended their lead to 3-1 with goals from Ryan Carter at 6:34 and Danny Syvret at 7:08 before the ice re-tilted in Detroit's favor.
Johan Franzen poked in a puck past a prone Curtis McElhinney, who could not cover the puck after making the first great save. Tomas Holmstrom tipped in Brad Stuart's shot at 17:08 and the Ducks were fortunate to get to the third period still tied.
Selanne's goal at 8:32 gave the Ducks back the lead. Career goal #610 ties him with Bobby Hull at 15th all time, and would have been even sweeter had it remained the game winner. 11:28 seconds is too long for Detroit not to come back.
Zetterberg got goal number two at 11:17 and things were tied. Again.
All things appearing good, and the temperature in Hell (Purgatory, not the town in Michigan) seeming to lower just a bit, did not stay that way. McElhinney, who got the third star of the game, stopped 36 shots, including a potential hat tricker from Zetterberg, but could not keep Datsyuk's shot out of the net. :11.4 seconds and all chances for a point or two were blown to ....well, Hell.
Maybe next season the Ducks can bring home a point from a trip to the Joe Louis Arena. Instead, they'll take a sour taste in their mouth and head to Dallas for a game on Tuesday night against a division rival.
In other notes: Dan Sexton left the game midway through the first period after blocking a Salei shot with his face. Sexton wears a face shield, but that wasn't where the puck hit him. He did not return to the game.