ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks know they very well could be resting and preparing for a second-round series.
Instead, they are gearing up for a pivotal Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round matchup against the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at the Honda Center. Second-seeded Anaheim opened the series with a 3-1 home victory and cruised to a 4-0 triumph at Detroit in Game 3.
The Red Wings posted both of their two victories in overtime, pulling out a 5-4 win in Game 2 after squandering a three-goal lead in the third period and emerging with a 3-2 triumph on Monday after trailing by a tally midway through the third.
Gustav Nyquist was the hero on Thursday, scoring a power-play goal just 81 seconds into overtime to even the series at one game apiece, and Damien Brunner tallied at 15:10 of the sudden-death period on Monday to again deadlock the matchup.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS, FSN, FSN Plus (Detroit), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS: Most believed Detroit stood no chance in the series considering the large number of players getting their first taste of the playoffs. But whether the Red Wings win or lose the matchup, those players are gaining valuable experience that should help the team down the road. Brunner is one of those postseason first-timers, while Nyquist saw action in four playoff games last year.
"We're still a lot of young guys on this team," the 23-year-old Nyquist said. "A lot of us haven't played too much in the playoffs before. As every game goes by, it helps, for sure."
ABOUT THE DUCKS: Coach Bruce Boudreau was disappointed with his team as a whole on Monday. "I don't think, quite frankly, we had 20 players playing," he said. "We had some passengers." However, captain Ryan Getzlaf insisted Anaheim was upbeat following the Game 4 loss. "We're far from frustrated right now," he said. "One goal the other way and everyone is happy. It's the way it goes. It's playoff hockey and it's fun."
1. Detroit LW Justin Abdelkader will serve the final contest of his two-game suspension for an illegal hit on Anaheim D Toni Lydman in Game 3. Lydman did not play in Monday's Game 4.
2. The Red Wings have won three of their four games at the Honda Center in 2013.
3. Ducks RWs Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan have combined to score one goal in the series thus far.