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Detroit Red Wings seize home-ice advantage against the Ducks

ROMULUS, Mich. - The Detroit Red Wings regained home-ice advantage from the Anaheim Ducks in large part because they solved Jonas Hiller.

Detroit got five pucks past Hiller and sent him to the bench in a 6-3 victory that tied the Western Conference semifinal at two games apiece. Marian Hossa hopes the Red Wings gained a psychological advantage against Hiller, who is playing in his first NHL postseason, after he made 100-plus saves over two games to put the Ducks ahead 2-1 in the series.

Hossa broke a tie with goals over a three-minute span of the second period Thursday night after failing to score in the first four games of the series against Hiller.

"He was playing very well for them," Hossa said Friday. "We were shooting pucks from everywhere at him, and we finally we got some rebounds and some good shots."

The Red Wings expect Hiller to be back in goal in Game 5 on Sunday, and he expects to get over his poor performance quickly.

"That's the good part about the playoffs, it doesn't matter if you lose 2-1, or 1-0, or 6-3," Hiller said. "The next game is going to be Sunday and we start the series again. It's going to be a best-of-three series.

"We have shown we can win out there."

The Red Wings will have one fewer player to crash the net because Tomas Kopecky is out after being injured in a fight in Game 4.

Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin said Kopecky asked for it.

"We were battling in front of the net and he asked me to go," Beauchemin said. "I'd never seen him fight before so I was quite surprised. But, we were down and I tried to change the momentum a little bit."

Anaheim had the momentum in the series after winning Game 2 in triple overtime at Joe Louis Arena and Game 3 on home ice by a goal.

The defending Stanley Cup champions showed their mettle facing a 2-1 deficit away from home.


Detroit won its sixth straight road game when trailing a best-of-seven series 2-1 to tie the Montreal Canadiens for the longest such streak in NHL history, according to STATS.

If the Red Wings take a 3-2 lead against Anaheim, odds seem to favour them closing it out in Game 6.

The Red Wings are the first team in league history to win eight straight series on the road, according to STATS.

"We know it doesn't guarantee anything, but it's nice to have the experience we have," said forward Kirk Maltby, who has helped Detroit win four Stanley Cups in the previous 11 postseasons.

"We've been in every situation. We know it's never good to panic, so we don't."

Chances are, the Ducks aren't afraid of the challenge ahead. Anaheim eliminated the Red Wings after the 2007 Western Conference finals were tied 2-2 and went on to hoist the Cup.


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