DETROIT – Ty Conklin is making a case to be Detroit’s playoff goalie.
Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and two assists, and Conklin made 24 saves for the Red Wings in his 11th straight home victory, 5-2 over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. Pavel Datsyuk added a goal and an assist and Dan Cleary, Johan Franzen and Kris Draper also scored for the Stanley Cup champion Detroit.
“It was a good game for us. It seemed like the puck was bouncing our way tonight,” Zetterberg said. “We just have to enjoy this because we’ll have some nights when it doesn’t all go our way.”
Conklin was signed as a free agent from the Pittsburgh Penguins in July to back up Chris Osgood.
But Osgood, who has backstopped the Red Wings to two Stanley Cups, including last season, has struggled this season.
He was a healthy scratch and will not be in uniform Saturday night in Minnesota. He has been given time to work on his game.
His .879 save percentage is the NHL’s worst among goalies who have played regularly.
“We’re trying to be proactive. We’re forcing the situation,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
“We’re challenging him to be the goalie he’s capable of being and get himself physically and mentally to the top of his game.”
Conklin is 21-7-1 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. He’s tied for second in the NHL with six shutouts.
“I can’t concern myself with that,” Conklin said. “That’s between Chris, the coaching staff and management. I’m behind Chris. He’s my teammate.”
Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan scored for Anaheim, which lost its third straight. Teemu Selanne had two assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 29 shots.
Datsyuk’s power-play goal with 33 seconds left in the opening period broke a 1-1 tie. His 25th goal came from the lip of the crease as he converted Zetterberg’s pass from behind the net.
Zetterberg’s power-play goal with 8:21 left in the second period made it 3-1. He beat Giguere from just inside the left circle for his 22nd goal after taking a pass from Datsyuk.
Franzen scored from the high slot 1:23 into the third period after intercepting Andrew Ebbett’s pass. It was Franzen’s 25th goal.
Ryan closed the gap to 4-2 with 6:05 left. He poked in a loose puck from the side of the net after a mix up between Conklin and Chris Chelios for his 20th goal.
Draper added his fifth goal with six seconds left.
Getzlaf opened the scoring just 52 seconds into the game with a power-play goal. He beat Conklin from the inside edge of the left circle for his 20th goal.
“That’s the kind of start we needed,” Getzlaf said. “We had other chances to get ourselves back in the game but we didn’t.”
Cleary’s 12th goal tied it with 6:12 left in the period. On the play, Zetterberg’s shot went in off Cleary’s skate.
Notes: Detroit recalled G Jimmy Howard from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. … Anaheim D Chris Pronger played his 1,000th game. … Ducks D Brett Hedican sat out with back spasms.