DETROIT – Ryan Getzlaf has been dominant when the Anaheim Ducks have needed their captain most, scoring clutch goals in two of their three wins.
Isnt that what hes supposed to do? coach Bruce Boudreau said after his team arrived Thursday night in Detroit. Your best player is supposed to be your best player.
It hasnt worked out that way so far for the Detroit Red Wings and their captain, putting them on the brink of elimination tonight at home in Game 6 of their first-round series against Anaheim.
Zetterberg hasnt scored in the playoffs in nearly 13 months.
He has gone a career-high seven postseason games without a goal dating to last years first-round setback against Nashville.
You want to be on the scoresheet, Zetterberg said. All you can do is continue to work hard, keep putting pucks on the net, and hopefully one or two will sneak by the goalie.
Two of Getzlafs three goals – a total that puts him among NHL leaders – helped lift the Ducks to leads in the series.
He had a short-handed goal midway through the third period of Game 3 to give Anaheim a two-goal lead in a game it won 4-0 to go ahead 2-1 in the series. He pulled the Ducks into a 2-goal tie with 31 seconds left in Game 5, helping them extend a game they took 3-2 in overtime to go ahead 3-2 in the best-of-seven matchup.
Getzlaf said the Ducks plan to match the desperation Detroit will have, hoping to avoid playing an up-for-grabs Game 7 in Anaheim.
Weve worked really hard throughout the year to know what to do in these situations, he said.
Were excited about trying to get that win here in Detroit.
Detroit, in its 22nd straight postseason, hasnt won Games 6 and 7 in a series since coming back in the Western Conference finals to beat Colorado in 2002 – the season before Zetterbergs rookie year. They went on to hoist the Stanley Cup that season.