Ducks use late third-period rally to hand Red Wings first defeat

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Ducks right wing Rickard Rakell scores on Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard in the third period.

Detroit — Well, you knew they weren't going to win them all.

For all the excitement surrounding the Red Wings after two season-opening victories, their first defeat was quite sudden.

The Anaheim Ducks scored three goals in 5 minutes, 5 seconds to erase a Wings lead and go on to a 3-1 victory.

“We beat ourselves tonight,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Like I talked about, don’t beat yourself, we beat ourselves 100 percent. That’s not to take away a thing from them, they hung in there and kept playing, but we beat ourselves for sure.”

BOX SCORE: Ducks 3, Red Wings 1

Filip Hronek scored with 5 seconds left in the second period, giving the Wings a 1-0 lead.

But this time, the Wings weren't able to close out a game like they did over the weekend.

Rikard Rakell (at 4:52), Nick Ritchie (9:10) and Jakob Silfverberg (9:57) all scored their first goals of the season, and quickly changed the complexion of the game.

In between the first two Anaheim goals, an apparent Dylan Larkin goal at 8:06 was disallowed when Anaheim successfully challenged that the Wings were offside.

Right after, Ritchie made it 2-1 at 9:10, skating through the slot and backhanding a loose puck past Howard.

Were the Wings deflated by the no-goal call?

“We knew it was close either way,” Justin Abdelkader said. ‘We have to make sure we’re prepared either way. There was no deflation, but it’s a turning point in the game. You go up 2-1 and it’s a different game.”

Rakell’s goal began the flurry that turned the game around in somewhat dramatic fashion.

Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm’s shot from the top of the slot appeared to bounce and deflect off both goaltender Jimmy Howard and Rakell, who was battling for position near the crease, and the puck tumbled into the net.

After Ritchie made it 2-1, Silfverberg extended the Ducks’ lead to 3-1, as he skated onto the ice unaccounted for and beat Howard from near the slot.

“It’s tough for the forwards to pick those guys up when they come in,” Howard said. “I saw him coming, he just made a nice shot.”

The Wings opened the scoring late in the second period when Hronek scored his first goal of the season with 5 seconds left.

On a delayed penalty, with an extra attacker on for the Wings, Hronek hit a post with the Wings pressing and the Ducks hanging on to get out of the period.

But the Wings continued to control the puck and Andreas Athanasiou, in his first game of the season, found Hronek near the dot.

Hronek whistled a one-timer that didn’t miss this time, with goaltender John Gibson — who continued his early-season dominance in this game — screened by Luke Glendening.

The Wings had 12 giveaways in this game, Anahiem only five, and on this particular night, the statistic was indicative of how the game ultimately went.

“I can’t say this enough times, we can’t be a team that beats ourselves,” Blashill said. “When you turn pucks over,  you’re just asking for it to go in your net at some point and finally it does. We cannot be a team that beats ourselves.

“If we realize that, we’ll have a chance to be a good team. If we’re a team that beats ourselves, we’ll be in misery come March.”

Twitter: @tkulfan