The score was closer than the game. The Detroit Red Wings controlled everything but the scoreboard for most of this matchup, yet after getting up 2-0 in the second period, they saw the Anaheim Ducks push back with a
At that point, one could have made the argument that the game was in doubt, but the Red Wings didn't waver. They continued to press and skate and control the puck. So, no matter the score, the Wings didn't let any doubt creep in.
The Red Wings never really let the Ducks get going. They outshot them 14-3 in the first, and only goaltender
But stellar goaltending wasn't nearly enough. The defense looked a step slow under the constant pressure of the free-wheeling Red Wings. And
And to the degree that the Ducks' best forward was off his game, Detroit's trio of
In the end, the Red Wings had it going on and the Ducks had nothing. Is that a telltale sign heading back to Anaheim? The Ducks are down 3-2, but are they out as well? Hard to say, but this disparity has been going on longer than one might imagine. Go back to the final period of Game 2. The Wings lost that game in triple overtime even though they dominated the shot clock and puck possession for the better part of that contiguous 60-minute stretch. After a slow start in Game 4, they revved up the offense to dominant range -- just like in this one.
If you're searching for signs of a differing outcome in Game 6, consider the Red Wings recent history away from Detroit. Their last eight series have been road closeouts. You have to go all the way back to their winning the Stanley Cup in 2002 to find the last time they won a series at home.
In other words, the Ducks need to dust off the proverbial drawing board and come up with something energetic by Tuesday night or it's likely lights out.