Red Wings Sweep Ducks Out of First Round
ANAHEIM, Calif. The Detroit Red Wings took their first step toward a third consecutive NHL title Tuesday night, completing a sweep of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in their first-round playoff series.
Tomas Holmstrom snapped a scoreless tie with his goal at 16:44 of the second period, and Chris Osgood stopped 31 shots as the Red Wings beat Anaheim 3-0 to take the series in four games.
Brendan Shanahan and Vyacheslav Kozlov added goals in the third period.
Despite playing without high-scoring left wing Paul Kariya, out with a broken foot, and defensemen Stu Grimson and Ruslan Salei, the Mighty Ducks kept it close through the first two periods before the Red Wings finally took control.
Holmstrom scored 24 seconds into a power play, with Marty McInnis off for slashing. Anaheim's Matt Cullen, just past the blue line in the Mighty Ducks' end, had difficulty controlling a pass and Holmstrom took the puck off his stick and broke up the middle.
With Cullen desperately hanging on him, Holmstrom reached with the stick in his right hand, scooted the puck to his left and knocked in a backhander past sprawling goaltender Guy Hebert.
The goal was Holmstrom's third of the series and Nicklas Lidstrom, who played sparkling defense throughout the four games, chipped in with the assist, his sixth.
Shanahan gave the Red Wings breathing room with his third goal of the series at 11:51 of the third period, then Kozlov scored with 5:03 left, his second goal of the playoffs.
Osgood, meanwhile, logged the sixth playoff shutout of his career. Kariya sustained his injury when he blocked a shot with his right foot in Game 3 on Sunday.
Grimson was suspended for one game checking Kris Draper into the glass from behind in Game 3, drawing a five-minute match penalty for deliberate attempt to injure. Salei sat out with a shoulder injury.
The action was furious in the opening period, with the teams combining for 30 shots. Marty McInnis had four as the Mighty Ducks got off 16 shots at Osgood.
Things quieted down considerably in the second period, with Anaheim managing nine shots and the Red Wings seven.
Detroit finished the game with 38 shots.
The Red Wings won 5-3 and 5-1 in Detroit, then took the third 4-2 in Anaheim.
The Mighty Ducks, who have made it to the playoffs just twice since coming into the NHL in 1993, also were swept by Detroit in 1997. That was in the second round, and three of the games went into overtime.
Kariya had one goal and three assists in the first three games of the series this year. He was third in the NHL in points with 101 and third in assists with 62 during the regular season.
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