Nick Bonino Scores Game Winning Goal in Overtime
Thank you Nick Bonino and Ben Lovejoy. Thank you for breaking this series’ overtime curse.
The Ducks have taken a one game lead in the series and are one win away from eliminating the Detroit Red Wings from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The game was tight through three periods and into overtime before Nick Bonino ended the game with a goal in overtime.
The first period showed a dominant performance by the Ducks as they outplayed and outshot the Red Wings but got bit by the penalty bug early, surrendering a powerplay goal about 5 minutes into the game, (Johan Franzen strikes again). The Ducks would keep their foot on the gas however and with just over 2 minutes left in the period Kyle Palmieri turned and shot from high in the slot, beating Jimmy Howard and tying the game.
In the second period Mikael Samuelsson would pick up a rebound off of Jonas Hiller and put it in the back of the net, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead. The Ducks seemed to be losing momentum the more the second period went on and things would get worse when Daniel Winnik was assessed a 5 minute boarding call for a hit on Daniel Cleary. The Ducks pulled themselves together and killed 4 of the 5 minutes before Brendan Smith hooked Ryan Getzlaf, killing Getzlaf’s shot at a shorthanded breakaway and ending Detroit’s powerplay advantage. It didn’t take long before the Ducks got on the powerplay and Ryan Getzlaf tied the game with a beautiful shot in the slot; Matt Beleskey screening Jimmy Howard.
The third period was a great back and forth period, momentum shifting between the two teams and both goaltenders giving great performances while making great stops. The period ended as it began, a 2-2 tie.
Overtime didn’t last long, thank heavens. Just under two minutes into overtime Ben Lovejoy which pitch in on the offensive end and carry the puck behind the net, making a pass through the crease intended for Teemu Selanne. The pass would miss Teemu but it made its way to the far side of the crease where it connected with Nick Bonino who wasted no time in wristing it past Jimmy Howard. 3-2 Ducks. Game over.
What might be most impressive about tonight’s win is that the Ducks did it without Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry or Teemu Selanne getting on the score sheet. Even more impressive is that the Ducks managed to beat Jimmy Howard tonight. Howard seemed unbeatable deep into the first period and perhaps singlehandedly squashed the Ducks spirits. The Ducks outshot by a 2:1 ration in the first period, (18 shots to Detroit’s 9), and still only managed a single goal. Detroit roared back in the second, the two teams played evenly in the third, and Anaheim took the lead when it mattered most: overtime.
If the thought was that the Red Wings win in game 4 gave Detroit momentum coming into game 5 then certainly the Ducks have regained the momentum for game 6. More importantly the Ducks have struck fear into the heart of Detroit who are now a game away from elimination. Detroit will be getting Justin Abdelkader back in their next game and if Jimmy Howard plays like he did tonight then it will not be an easy feat for the Ducks to win in Detroit on Friday.
So thanks Bonino, and thank you Lovejoy for the beautiful setup to the goal. Thanks for the joyous celebrations that made all Ducks’ fans neighbors wonder what party they were missing, because they missed one hell of a party.