ANAHEIM, Calif. – An overtime win seems to be part of the Anaheim Ducks flight plan when leaving Detroit during the playoffs.
After a triple-overtime victory over the Red Wings in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday, the Ducks devoted Monday to getting plenty of rest as the series shifted west for the next two games.
Todd Marchant’s goal at 1:15 into the third extra session and a 59-save effort by Jonas Hiller helped the Ducks get even in the series after the Red Wings won the opener 3-2.
Game 3 is Tuesday night.
Anaheim beat the Red Wings in the Western Conference finals two seasons ago in six games, including overtime wins in Games 2 and 5 of the series at Detroit.
“You go through those long games and it can be a lot more tiring on you if you lose on the road and have to come home,” said Ryan Getzlaf, who has led the Ducks with a goal and four assists against the Red Wings.
“It was definitely big to get that win.”
The Ducks have won four of the last five playoff games between the teams.
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle gave his players the option of skating Monday morning, and about half the team hit the ice. Others took advantage of the chance to rest and rehydrate after five-plus periods of hockey Sunday.
“We talk about it all the time. Rest and nutrition are as important as going out on the ice,” said Marchant, who won Game 2 with a wrist shot past goalie Chris Osgood.
Hiller was also in a recharging mode after his extended workload.
“I feel pretty good,” said the 28-year Swiss goalie who has won five of his first eight NHL playoff games. “I kind of take a little rest and do my regular stuff to recover well. I’ll be ready for (Tuesday).”
While the Ducks were looking to secure some rest Monday, the Red Wings were focusing on waking up some key players.
Anaheim has been able to keep two of the defending champions’ top goal scorers, Marian Hossa (40 regular-season goals) and Pavel Datsyuk (32), off the scoreboard for more than the eight periods of hockey played in the first two games of the series.
“We’ve had chances, not as many as usual, but we have had chances,” Datsyuk said. “We need to score.”
Hossa echoed his linemate’s concern.
“Obviously, we would like to be more productive, but we are facing a really hard opponent,” said Hossa, who had nine shots on goal in Game 2. “We just have to grind and adjust some things. We are doing some things well and it’s going to be a long series.”
The Ducks have matched Marchant and defenceman Scott Niedermayer against Datsyuk and Hossa and will be in a better position to do so at home.
Still, Detroit coach Mike Babcock says he isn’t overly concerned about his top-line players getting on track, but there is little time in which to do it.
“It’s show time, and they know that, too,” he said. “They are some of the best players in the world.
“If I didn’t know them, then I’d be concerned.”
The Red Wings went through a full-squad practice for about 30 minutes Monday. Defenceman Brian Rafalski (upper body injury) didn’t skate with the team and will miss his third straight game.
Babcock didn’t rule out Rafalski for Game 4.
Carlyle was impressed with the play of forward Josh Green, who was able to jump back into the Ducks lineup for Game 3.
Green broke his leg in January while skating with the Ducks top minor league affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa. After a lengthy recovery process he was cleared to play last week.
“He was our best player in Iowa, he’s worked extremely hard to get himself back,” Carlyle said. “It’s a tribute to the player when he hasn’t played a game in the NHL (this season) and then steps into a playoff series against the defending champions and makes a positive contribution.”