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Ducks Tie and Beat Crowd

Hockey: Result disappoints large contingent of Red Wing fans at Arrowhead Pond.

April 04, 2002|LONNIE WHITE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Just to shake things up, the Mighty Ducks decided to wear their road purple and jade uniforms for their game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night at the Arrowhead Pond.

It turned out to be a good move. The Ducks outplayed the NHL's best team for much of the night and skated away with a 1-1 tie despite having Detroit cheered as if it were the home team by a pro-Red Wing sellout crowd of 17,174.

The Ducks, who ended a two-game losing streak, were outshot by Detroit, 30-23, but they had their chances to win.

In a scoreless first period, the Ducks lost starting goaltender Steve Shields 11:43 into the game when he suffered facial cuts and a head injury after being hit by the right elbow of the Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stepped in and finished the game. He had 17 saves.

The Ducks, who gave Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek fits all night with constant traffic in front of him, scored the first goal of the game when Jeff Friesen picked up his 16th of the season early in the second. With Anaheim on the power play, Friesen picked up a Paul Kariya rebound and slipped in a backhand shot between Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek's legs 26 seconds into the period.

The Red Wings, who lost to the Ducks at Detroit last month, tied the score at 1-1 later in the second when former King Luc Robitaille knocked in a power-play goal at 11:48.

In the third period and overtime, Anaheim seemed to control play but failed to score despite having a power-play late in the extra period.

For Detroit, hearing chants of "Let's Go Red Wings" on the road is nothing new. It's been that way for years and with the team's success this season, it's heard even more now.

"There's some cities that we go, like Nashville, Tampa Bay, and we see more red than the home team's colors," said Robitaille, whose second-period goal gave him his fourth consecutive 30-goal season. "It's certainly neat because there are a lot of road games that feel like we're at home. That's pretty amazing."

With the aim of preserving his players for the playoffs, Coach Scotty Bowman did not play several of his regulars, and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom did not make the Red Wings' three-game West Coast trip because of a groin injury.

But Detroit did have defenseman Uwe Krupp back in the lineup. He missed most of the season because of a shoulder injury. Steve Yzerman, who has not played since the Olympics because of a knee injury, skated with the team Wednesday morning and could return to the ice before the Red Wings return home.

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