Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:14 pm
Red Wings beat Ducks 2-1 for 4th straight road win
By JOE RESNICKAssociated Press
The Ducks, who trail idle Chicago by three points for the NHL's best record, have dropped consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season following a 22-3-4 start that was the best in franchise history. They also had back-to-back shootout losses on the road against the Phoenix Coyotes earlier this month.
Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf scored on a power play with 46 seconds left in the second period, ending his 13-game goal drought against Detroit. Jonas Hiller stopped 21 shots after going 8-0-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in his previous 10 starts.
Just two nights after a 5-1 defeat that included Justin Abdelkader's first NHL hat trick, the Ducks took the ice knowing that if the playoffs started on Sunday, their first-round opponent would be Detroit. And they got off to an inauspicious start, falling behind 2-0 in the first period in front of their eighth sellout crowd of the season.
Cleary opened the scoring on a power play at 4:14, tipping Jakub Kindl's snap shot from the top of the right circle past Hiller, while Francois Beauchemin was off for tripping Valtteri Filppula. Cleary's seventh goal extended the Red Wings' streak of consecutive games with a power-play goal to seven, following a six-game stretch in which they were 0 for 13.
Miller, who began his six-year NHL career with the Ducks, scored at 8:46 when he beat Teemu Selanne to a loose puck at the edge of the crease and scored his fourth goal after Ian White shot a one-timer into a crowd in front of Hiller.
Howard stopped Anaheim's first 21 shots before giving up Getzlaf's 12th on a screened 30-foot wrist shot from the right circle while Cleary was serving an interference penalty.
The Ducks, who came in with the league's third-best power-play conversion percentage, were only 1 for 21 on the power play over their previous 10 games - and just 1 for 35 against Detroit since the start of the 2010-11 season.
Rookie Emerson Etem nearly tied it for Anaheim, but his 25-foot wrist shot from the middle of the left circle hit the left post less than 3 minutes into the third period. Howard then stopped Getzlaf's bid for the equalizer with 8:07 remaining as he came through the right circle and went for the short side.
Getzlaf received a 10-minute misconduct and 2 extra minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct after getting a tripping penalty with 34 seconds left in the game. Corey Perry simultaneously got a 10-minute misconduct and Selanne a game misconduct.
NOTES: The Red Wings will return to United Center from their four-game road trip to host the Blackhawks next Sunday - which is Gordie Howe's 85th birthday. ... Selanne played in his 1,372nd regular-season game, tying D Teppo Numminen for the most by a Finnish-born player. Numminen retired after the 2008-09 season, his 20th in the league. ... Perry has just one goal in his last 10 games against Detroit. ... Red Wings D Carlo Colaiacovo, who injured his shoulder at Columbus in the second game of the lockout-delayed schedule, was given medical clearance to play. He was not added to the active roster because he still needs some practice time. ... Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg played in his 700th regular-season game. ... The Red Wings' next game is Monday night at Phoenix, where they will be looking to record their first three-game winning streak since Feb. 7-10. They are 0-4 in those situations since then.