Ducks-Red Wings: Game Plan Works and Anaheim Plays Better

Ryan LarimoreContributor IMay 13, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 12:  Pavel Datsyuk #13 and Marian Hossa #81 of the Detroit Red Wings skate off the ice after  the Anaheim Ducks won Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Honda Center on May 12, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Red Wings 2-1.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Normally, It's a phrase uttered only by a team who is clearly overmatched, and looking for answers.

Last night the Ducks proved that they could in fact "play better" than they had in the previous two games.

They have evened the series with the Wings, and this war on ice will come down to one game on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The Ducks and Wings both got out to up and down starts, but after one and a half periods it was clear that luck and the bounces both were going Anahiem's way.

The first goal was a shot by Getzlaf that was initially stopped by Osgood, but bounced off of his pad and slowly trickled into the net.

Detroit then had several opportunities, but bounces and poor puck follow up cost the Wings a game-tying goal.

The Ducks' second goal turned out to be the nail in the coffin, scored by Corey Perry.

Johan Franzen added a goal for the Wings late in the game to make things interesting. Franzen, who has 21 goals in 26 playoff games, was basically a non-factor in Game Six.  The Wings carried the pressure until the very last save by Jonas Hiller, whentime expired and fists began to fly.

Started by an out-of-character cheap shot by Scott Niedermayer, the two teams paired off, and duked it out. None of the pairings were favorable for the Red Wings—and no punishment is expected for Niedermayer, who threw a blatant elbow after the final horn blew.

The league has seemingly turned a blind eye to cheap shots in this round of the playoffs, so teams will have to exact their own revenge—whether on the scoreboard or with their fists.