The final minutes felt a lot like Friday night, up 3-1 until a Ducks goal would make things far too interesting, and butt clenching and stuff. The Ducks wouldn't get the equalizer this time, though, and the Red Wings would perservere in regulation and, in all, an extremely hard-faught seven-game series a lot of people, myself included, thought they weren't going to be apart of.
Quickly, here's how the Wings pulled it off in Game 7:
After Henrik Zetterberg started the scoring early in the first and the Ducks tied things up 12 minutes later, the Wings were shorthanded when Justin Abdelkader broke up a pass in his own zone and then found the five-hole at the other end of a breakaway:
Abdelkader grew up pretty fast.
The second period was scoreless until Valterri Filppula wound up with what was ultimately the game winner on a backhander:
I've already talked about what happened in the third. We wound up celebrating (or sighing in relief).
Jimmy Howard had 31 saves in the game and the new Captain played heroically in the Wings' second consecutive elimination game.
There was a time when I thought No. 22 was not going to happen, but the Red Wings have already turned their 22nd straight playoff appearance into a special one. Four out of the series' seven games went into OT (the 1st time that has ever happened for the Wings) and they won all four of their games by a single goal against a No. 2 seed. Great [nervous] success!
The Red Wings will now take on a fellow Original 6, the No. 1 Chicago Blackhawks, in the Conference Semis, which begins on Wednesday night. Fun and jokes.