Wings even series with OT goal

Paul Harris, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings rookie Damien Brunner made up for a mistake in the best way possible.
After his turnover deep in the Detroit zone led to a pivotal goal in Saturday night's Game 3 loss in the Western Conference first-round playoff series against Anaheim, Brunner's goal 15:10 into overtime Monday night gave the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Ducks at Joe Louis Arena and tied the series at two games each.
"I blame myself a lot. It was not the best night of my life," Brunner said of Saturday. "But, you know, all the guys did a pretty good job getting my head up the next day. They were joking about it. So, obviously I'm pretty happy that it ended up like this tonight."
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Anaheim.
Brunner scored after Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller poked the puck away from Gustav Nyquist, who was racing defenseman Bryan Allen to get to a loose puck rolling toward the Ducks' goal. When Nyquist got to the puck first, Hiller knocked it off his stick. However, it went off of Allen's leg, and Allen and Hiller collided. Brunner, who was following the play up, calmly flipped it into the open side of the net.
"I think the puck just went off a leg. I got a piece of it, and we ran into each other. A tough way to lose," said Hiller, who made 46 saves.
Brendan Smith had a goal and an assist, and Pavel Datsyuk also scored for Detroit. Joakim Andersson had two assists, and Jimmy Howard stopped 31 shots.
After amassing only 23 shots Game 3, the Red Wings wanted to get more shots on Hiller and create more traffic in front of the net.
"Obviously a big relief. It was a big game for us, 2-2 rather than going down 3-1," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "It means a lot to our team. I thought we played really well for the most part of the game. We did a lot of the things we talked about, getting the pucks deep. Our forwards did a tremendous job being hard on the puck in the offensive zone."
Matt Beleskey and David Steckel scored for Anaheim.
"(The Red Wings) played very good, very hard, very desperate. I don't think, quite frankly, we had 20 players playing. We had some passengers," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If we don't have all four lines going, you have to mix and match. I didn't want to mix and match, but we didn't have guys going."
Datsyuk tied it at 2 with 6:33 remaining in the third with his first of the playoffs. His wrist shot from the left circle beat Hiller high on the short side.
Steckel scored off a goal-mouth scramble with 9:20 left in the third to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead.
Smith's first career playoff goal, 1:18 into the third period, tied the game at 1. His slap shot from the right point deflected in off Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin.
"I didn't even get a regular-season goal this year. To get a playoff goal is unbelievable. It's quite a thrill," Smith said. "I want to get that puck. It's really cool. It was a big goal for our club. I was really excited about it."
It also snapped the Red Wings' scoreless streak of 101:18. Anaheim won 4-0 in Game 3. The Red Wings' last goal in the series had been Nyquist's overtime winner in Game 2.
Beleskey opened the scoring 5:07 into the first period when he put in a spin-around shot from the bottom of the right circle off a goal-mouth scramble. It was Beleskey's second goal of the playoffs, and in two games, and was the result of a mix-up between Detroit defensemen Smith and Kyle Quincey.
NOTE: Detroit's Justin Abdelkader served the first game of his two-game suspension for his hit on Anaheim's Toni Lydman late in the second period of Saturday night's Game 3. Todd Bertuzzi replaced Abdelkader in the lineup, and Mikael Samuelsson started the game in Abdelkader's place on the top line with Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. ... Lydman didn't play because he was still suffering headaches and had a stiff neck. Sheldon Souray, who was a healthy scratch for Game 3, replaced Lydman on Anaheim's defense.

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