Ducks Snuff Red Wings for 7th in a Row

By Ray Van Horn, Jr. Copyright 1999

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The Detroit Red Wings invaded Arrowhead Pond on March 7th to take on the streaking Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Red Wings came to Anaheim bragging a 9-0-1 record against the Ducks in their last ten meetings. Tonight, they finally met their match in a hard-battled 3-1 loss.

The Ducks opened up on Detroit with a Marty McInnis power play goal at 7:50 into the first period. Red Wings goalminder Chris Osgood had warded off two consecutive shots by Teemu Selanne, but surrendered the goal to McInnis on the rebound. It was McInnis' 18th of the season. The Mighty Ducks, #1 in power play goals, went 1 for 9 in the game.

Anaheim next scored on a shorthanded goal at 12:48 of the second period by Steve Rucchin, who slapped a feed from Paul Kariya for his 23rd on the year. Kariya recorded his 200th NHL assist on the play.

Detroit edged to within one on a blinding Steve Yzerman power play strike, coming at 4:28 in the third period. Yzerman tallied his 26th goal while Tomas Holmstrom was credited with the assist. The Ducks cemented the game, however, with a Tomas Sandstrom rebound off of Marty McInnis' deflected shot for the 3-1 victory. The score came with 2:41 left in the game on a 4 on 4 man situation.

The real story of the game was Anaheim's controlled defense, baffling the Wings for two periods before allowing the Yzerman goal. They killed off 6 of 7 Detroit power play opportunities, twice against a 5-3 man advantage. The Ducks never allowed Detroit to get a shot off in both of the kills.

The Iron Trooper award of the evening goes to Anaheim's Jason Marshall, who played solid defense, even after suffering two cheap shots from Detroit's Vyacheslav Koslov and Kirk Maltby. Marshall was rammed face-first into Osgood's net by Koslov, then later, was viciously boarded by Maltby while clearing an icing call against Detroit.

The Wings relied on brute tactics throughout the game in a desperate attempt to goad the Anaheim players into fighting majors. Their strategy backfired, however, as Anaheim kept a collective cool head, resulting in 9 Red Wing players visiting the box.

Guy Hebert was stingy in his 26th win on the season, blocking 33 of 34 shots.

Anaheim won for the seventh time in a row, and has taken14 of its last 17 games, improving their overall mark to 30-25-9.

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