Holmstrom needed 13 stitches to close a couple of cuts on his forehead after a brutal hit into the boards in the second period, but was smiling after the Red Wings used the win to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
“I had two guys on me and fell into the boards,” the veteran Swede said about the hit. “I never saw the guys come from behind.
“They wanted to make sure I didn’t have a concussion. I was ready for the third.”
Goaltender Dominik Hasek made 29 saves for his 14th career playoff shutout as the Wings dominated the game.
Todd Bertuzzi, who scored a second-period goal, said Detroit was left frustrated after splitting the first two games of the series at home.
“I think the key tonight was our start,” said Bertuzzi. “We wanted to make sure we would come out strong. That’s exactly what we did. We got the 2-0 lead and carried one from there.”
Holmstrom scored on a first-period power play, then made it 4-0 on a wrap around early in the second.
He left the game at 11:40 of the second with blood dripping from his forehead after being smashed into the boards by Duck defenceman Chris Pronger and forward Rob Niedermayer.
The hit knocked Holmstrom’s helmet off and the left-winger crumpled to the ice were he lay flat for several minutes. The Detroit training staff rushed onto the ice and helped him to the dressing room.
Niedermayer was given a five-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct on the play.
Holmstrom returned early in the third after being stitched up and assisted on Valtteri Filppula’s goal.
A sellout crowd of 17,358 went home disappointed after watching the most lopsided defeated in Ducks playoff history.
Coach Randy Carlyle said the game turned in the second period when Anaheim scored goals 17 seconds apart and the Ducks took a string of six penalties.
“Things really spiralled down quickly for our group in the second,” he said. “Our frustration level got up there and we didn’t show the necessary discipline that’s required.
“Did we lose our composure? I’d have to say it left lots of room for improvement.”
Johan Franzen scored the other Detroit goal. Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom had two assists each.
Game 4 in the best-of-seven series will be played Thursday at the Honda Center.
After putting the Ducks in a hole with two goals in the first period, Detroit sealed the deal in the second. The Wings outshot Anaheim 13-2 during the period.
Bertuzzi made it 3-0 at 3:17 when Dan Cleary’s pass bounced off his stick, hit Duck goaltender J.S. Giguere and went into the net. That ended Giguere’s night as he was replaced by backup Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov didn’t fair much better, allowing Holmstrom’s second goal on the first shot he faced.
Franzen made it 1-0 midway through the first period when he directed a cross-ice pass from Mikael Samuelsson past Giguere. Defenceman Scott Niedermayer appeared to have a chance to breakup the play but the puck bounced over his stick.
It was Detroit’s first even-strength goal of the series.
Holmstrom made it 2-0 with just 43 seconds left in the period with Pronger watching from the penalty box after being sent off for hooking Bertuzzi. Holmstrom scored after taking a pass from Zetterberg and beating Giguere with a hard shot.
It was the first power-play goal the Ducks had allowed at home during the playoffs.
Anaheim played without forward Chris Kuntiz who is gone for the playoffs with a broken bone in his right hand.
Notes-Celebrities at the game included actors John Cusack and Cuba Gooding Jr., rocker Kid Rock and Olympic silver medallist figure skater Sasha Cohen. …The previous three times the Ducks and Wings met in the playoffs the series all ended in sweeps. Detroit won in 1999 and 1997 while Anaheim took the 2003 series. …When Teemu Selanne played his first NHL season with the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93 Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was in the final year as a player. …Scott Niedermayer’s 12 career overtime goals is tops all-time among NHL defencemen.