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Ducks Left Seeing Red

Game 1: Anaheim loses to Detroit, 5-3, as Yzerman scores three goals. Goalie Hebert leaves after being kicked in the head.


DETROIT — Steve Yzerman scored three goals, Hockeytown went bonkers, Guy Hebert got injured, Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne scored goals and the two-time defending champion Detroit Red Wings subdued the Mighty Ducks, 5-3.

What, you expected something different in Game 1 of their first-round best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena?

If you did, you simply haven't been paying attention. Game 1 certainly wasn't anything we haven't seen before from these teams.

Yzerman, the Red Wing captain, feasts on the Ducks and he did so again Wednesday. His fourth career playoff hat trick gave him six goals in five games against the Ducks this season.

Hockeytown is the name Detroit gave itself some years ago, and with two Stanley Cup championships in the last two seasons perhaps it's fitting. Besides what else could Detroit possibly brag about? Potholes?

Hebert, the Duck goaltender, was forced from Wednesday's game after getting kicked in the head by Detroit's Brendan Shanahan midway through the second period.

Hebert suffered a groin injury in Game 2 of the teams' second-round series in 1997 and was sidelined for the rest of the postseason.

Hebert's status for Game 2 Friday at Detroit is uncertain. "It's not a concussion," Duck Coach Craig Hartsburg said. "He got his bell rung a bit. We're hoping he'll be ready for the next game."

Kariya and Selanne, the Ducks' top scorers in the regular season, kept them within striking distance until the final moments. That's when Yzerman pounced on a loose puck and fired it past Tom Askey, Hebert's replacement, for the game-clinching goal.

"There's a lot of encouraging things for us to build on," Hartsburg said. "That's a great team and this building was rocking. The first 10 minutes always are so intense and physical here. After that we reacted and had some good hits ourselves. I thought [Kariya] was great."

The Red Wings came out roaring to start the game, as if they were determined to win the series in the first 10 minutes. Instead, they trailed, 1-0, at the 6:41 mark of the first period after Marty McInnis' first playoff goal in his first postseason game since 1994 while playing for the New York Islanders.

A less experienced team might have wobbled a bit under the pressure and expectation this hockey-mad city has placed on the Red Wings to win a third consecutive title. But the Red Wings did not falter.

"They got that first power-play goal, but the guys here, with all their experience and depth, there's no panic," Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios said. "That's key."

Yzerman, stationed near the right goal post, scored the first of his three goals by shoveling a rebound off the end boards past Hebert at the 11:06 mark. Wendel Clark then swatted a loose puck from the slot past Hebert at 17:30.

Yzerman gave the Red Wings what seemed to be a commanding 3-1 lead with a power-play goal only 31 seconds into the second period. But Kariya sent a missile from the left wing past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood a little more than a minute later.

Any momentum the Ducks had after Kariya's goal disappeared as Hebert lay motionless on the ice after a tumbling Shanahan accidentally kicked the goalie in the head at the 9:33 mark of the second.

Askey, who was recalled Wednesday morning from Cincinnati of the American Hockey League because backup Dominic Roussel was too ill to leave the hotel, barely had time to get nervous.

Botched coverage on a faceoff to Askey's right led to the Red Wings' fourth goal, a quick shot from the slot by Doug Brown at 16:49. Sergei Fedorov won the faceoff, Clark recovered the puck along the boards and slipped a pass in front to Brown before the flat-footed Ducks could react.

"I thought he did a great job," Hartsburg said of Askey, who had nine saves in his playoff debut.

"I'm sure he had no thoughts [Wednesday] morning of having to play in a Stanley Cup game. He was fine. He did a good job."

Askey could have played it better on Yzerman's third goal, but then again, referees Mark Faucette and Don VanMassenhoven missed a blatant tripping penalty against Shanahan.

After Selanne, who was held without a shot in the first two periods, scored to cut the deficit to 4-3 at 13:03 of the third period, the Ducks buzzed Osgood's net.

Late in the game, the Red Wings won a faceoff in their zone and cleared the puck. Selanne gained possession, but Shanahan tripped him and the puck squirted free to Yzerman.

Askey charged out of his net, got caught in no-man's land and couldn't retreat fast enough to stop Yzerman's quick shot from the right wing that gave Detroit a 5-3 lead at 18:42.

"There's a reason why they are the two-time Stanley Cup champions," Kariya said.

"We can't expect anything but their best game from them. I think we did a pretty good job, but we had our usual five-minute lapses that cost us."



Red Wings lead best-of-seven series, 1-0

UNEXPECTED APPEARANCE: Tom Askey thought his playoff action Wednesday would be with Cincinnati in the AHL. Instead, he had to face the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings. Page 6



Buffalo 2, Ottawa 1

Dallas 2, Edmonton 1


Philadelphia at Toronto, 4

Pittsburgh at New Jersey, 4:30

Boston at Carolina, 4:30

St. Louis at Phoenix, 7:30

COVERAGE: Buffalo goaltender Dominik Hasek is in vintage form in opener. Page 7

Colorado postpones two games in wake of Littleton shootings. Page 7

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