The seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings attempt to stave off elimination Friday, when they host Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round series with the Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks.
Detroit extended its streak of consecutive playoff appearances to 22 campaigns on the last day of the lockout-shortened regular season and was even in the series after four games thanks to a pair of overtime victories.
But the Red Wings were unable to accomplish the feat a third time on Wednesday, losing 3-2 in the extra session in Anaheim to fall within one loss of being knocked out in the first round for the second straight year.
Nick Bonino was the hero for the Ducks in Game 5 as he scored his second game-winning goal of the series just 1:54 into overtime. Bonino, who is tied with captain Ryan Getzlaf for the team lead in tallies with three, also netted the winner in Game 3.
Second-seeded Anaheim is one victory away from advancing to the second round for the first time since 2009. Should they move on, the Ducks will face the winner of the first-round matchup between the fourth-seeded St. Louis Blues and fifth-seeded Los Angeles Kings.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN2, RDSI, KDOC (Anaheim), FSN (Detroit)
ABOUT THE DUCKS: Jonas Hiller posted his 10th career postseason victory Wednesday, giving him sole possession of second place on the franchise list. He had been tied for the spot with Ilya Bryzgalov. Jean-Sebastien Giguere is Anaheim's all-time leader with 33 playoff wins. Coach Bruce Boudreau believes Corey Perry will contribute offensively once he learns to relax. Perry has recorded just one assist over the first five games of the series.
"It's one of those things with scorers - if he gets one, I don't think he'll stop," Boudreau said. "He's probably gripping his stick too tight."
ABOUT THE RED WINGS: Justin Abdelkader will return to the lineup Friday after serving his two-game suspension for an illegal hit on Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman in Game 3. The left wing registered one goal in the first three games of the series. Despite playing in the third period on Wednesday, Dan Cleary will be evaluated Friday morning before coach Mike Babcock determines whether or not the right wing will play in Game 6. Cleary was helped off the ice Wednesday after being boarded by Anaheim's Daniel Winnik late in the second period.
"My whole left side was sore - shoulder, hand, ribs, neck, head," Cleary said after Game 5. "I didn't see him coming at all."
1. Bonino is two goals away from matching his total in 27 regular-season games.
2. Detroit has been outscored 9-3 in the third period.
3. Ds Lydman and Luca Sbisa are the only members of the Ducks who have appeared in a game but have not recorded a point in the series.