The most compelling series of the second round just got all the more intriguing as it shifts to Anaheim tied at 1-1. It took awhile to get there, but astonishingly, the Ducks scored the game-winning goal early in the third overtime of Game 2 after the Red Wings had badly outshot them from the third period on.
The game-winner wouldn't have been possible without the goaltending of
Not that the historical stat mattered. As is often the case in these extended situations, the winner came off the stick of a hard-working, seasoned pro instead of a noted game-breaker. In this case,
Marchant finally settled things in the third extra session by coming back on the backpressure in perfect position, picking off a pass, getting it to defenseman
And after the perfect hockey execution, the pure joy of winning such a hard fought game -- no different than when Marchant and Niedermayer were mere youths playing the game for fun. Now, it's their occupation and they've made this series serious business. But a playoff game-winner in triple OT brings out the kid in all of us. That was certainly true of the jubilant Ducks as they mobbed Marchant, both relieved and exuberant. The smiles were worthy of 12-year olds the world over except, of course, for the ever-lengthening playoff beards -- and the specter of this series going the distance.