DETROIT – The third overtime was only about a minute old when Anaheim’s Todd Marchant flicked a wrist shot through traffic toward the net.
Detroit goalie Chris Osgood never saw it coming. Marchant delivered a rare goal and the Ducks won the first multiple-overtime game of this post-season 4-3 on Sunday to even the Western Conference semifinal with the Red Wings at a game apiece.
“Not many games get decided off of my stick, that’s for sure,” he said.
Marchant, who has been in the NHL since the 1993-94 season, had just five goals during the regular season and 12 previously in the playoffs.
The 35-year-old forward had plenty of energy on the game-winning play and help from teammate Rob Niedermayer, who screened Osgood.
“I don’t know even where it went,” Osgood said.
Marchant carried the puck up the middle of ice, made a move to slip into open space in the left circle and let a shot fly. The goal came at 1:15 of the third overtime.
The eighth-seeded Ducks headed home happy and ready to host Game 3 on Tuesday night.
The Red Wings will look back at Game 2 with regret, particularly when they wasted a rare power play in overtime – midway through the first one – and outshot Anaheim 29-15 over the first two extra periods.
“There were chances to win the game,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “And, we didn’t do it.”
Jonas Hiller had a lot to do with that.
Playing in his first NHL post-season and second year in the league, he made a career-high 59 saves.
“I’ve never gone to double overtime before,” the native of Switzerland said. “We have shootouts at home.”
“We had to go back to Anaheim tied,” Anaheim forward Corey Perry said. “That was our goal.
“Anything can happen.”
Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Pronger and Ryan Carter scored.
Osgood stopped 42 shots, and Brad Stuart, Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen had goals for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who lost for the first time this post-season.
“I don’t think anybody came into this series thinking there would be a sweep,” Babcock said. “Or, that it would be easy.”
In the series opener, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom scored with 49 seconds left to avoid overtime.
Second-seeded Detroit and Anaheim skated in the longest playoff game since the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Detroit midway through a third overtime in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final last year.
In NHL playoff history, Marchant’s goal marked the quickest a game has ended in a third overtime.
“When you can get it into overtime on the road, anything can happen,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We were fortunate to have one shot find the back of the net before they did.”
The Ducks have won five straight playoff games against Detroit in overtime, winning twice after regulation two years ago in Western Conference finals en route to Anaheim’s Stanley Cup championship.
Getzlaf, who began the day tied for the NHL lead in playoff scoring, scored and had an assist 34 seconds apart midway through the first period.
“In my mind, he’s the best player in the league,” teammate Teemu Selanne said. “If there’s a better one all-around player, show him to me.”
Notes: Franzen has scored 21 times in 46 playoff games. Just five active players had more goals in their first 46 playoff games, according to STATS. … Franzen and Getzlaf both have a point in six straight games this post-season. … In NHL playoff games that went beyond two OTs, the next-quickest ending was in 1971 when the New York Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1:31 into the third overtime.