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Justin Abdelkader scores hat trick as Detroit ends Ducks' streaks

The Red Wings snap the Ducks' franchise-record 13-game winning streak at Honda Center with a 5-1 victory, and Anaheim's streak of 12 consecutive games with a point ends.

March 22, 2013|By Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times
  • Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader, center, celebrates his hat trick during the second period.
Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader, center, celebrates his hat trick during… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

All that has defined the Ducks' season wasn't happening Friday night.

The home dominance. The knack for comebacks. The impenetrable goaltending.

The Detroit Red Wings, riding a hat trick by left wing Justin Abdelkader that matched his previous season goal total, ended the Ducks' franchise-record 13-game winning streak at Honda Center with a 5-1 victory.

Caught in a flat-footed performance that was ripe with the feeling they let down after beating Western Conference leader Chicago only two nights earlier, the Ducks (22-4-4) also saw the close of their streak of 12 consecutive games with a point (9-0-3).

"That's an excuse," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said of the letdown theory. "More than 24 hours away from that game … the Detroit Red Wings in the building.

"We were kind of dead in the water … not very good the last 50 minutes," Boudreau said. Detroit "handled the puck tremendously … we turned the puck over and didn't forecheck. It's a bad combination."

It was so uncharacteristic, Boudreau pulled goaltender Viktor Fasth, off to a 6-0 start at Honda Center, early in the second period after he let three of 11 shots past him.

"I didn't think Viktor was very sharp and wanted to give us a chance to bounce back," Boudreau said. "Tonight was not one of those nights to bounce back."

Said Fasth: "I wish I could've played better, give the team a chance to win. Obviously, I didn't do that."

Boudreau replaced Fasth with Jonas Hiller after Detroit took a 3-1 lead on Abdelkader's second goal.

The goalie change didn't alter Abdelkader's touch and he beat Hiller on his left shoulder side with 7:14 left in the second.

"It was just one of those nights the puck was finding me and I was shooting it and it was going in," Abdelkader said.

Even the Ducks, with 14 come-from-behind victories this season, found that debt too impossible to recover from.

They tried, putting 27 shots on goal to Detroit's 17 through two periods, but Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard was stellar.

In the second, Howard rejected all 15 Ducks shots. He knocked down an up-close Bobby Ryan try, stood up to pressure by Cam Fowler and Daniel Winnik another time and blocked Kyle Palmieri's hard shot near the faceoff circle.

Detroit Coach Mike Babcock, who coached the Ducks to the 2003 Stanley Cup finals, was asked whether ending the Honda Center streak motivated his team.

"Every time you're playing a really good team, you're a little bit scared to death to get thumped, so you dig in," Babcock said. "And I think our guys did that tonight."

The Ducks opened scoring when Teemu Selanne took a cross-ice pass from Palmieri and fired it low to the left of Howard.

But Detroit (15-11-5) responded later in the first with two goals in a span of 1:23.

First, Abdelkader wound past Ducks defenseman Sheldon Souray and whipped a shot to the net past Fasth's right leg pad.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was then sent to the penalty box for hooking, and Detroit impressively worked the puck around Fasth as Damien Brunner slid a pass from behind the net to Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk for a 2-1 lead.

"We have to limit turnovers," Fowler said with Detroit returning to Honda Center for a Sunday night meeting. "You give a team like that any jump, they can create opportunities. We've got to clean that up."

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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