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USA TODAY: Red Wings vs. Ducks Preview

7:27 AM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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Detroit Red Wings players Cory Emmerton (25) , Ian White (18) and Drew Miller (20) celebrate after a goal in the first period as Anaheim Ducks players Kyle Palmieri (51) , Ben Lovejoy (6) and Luca Sbisa (5) react at the Honda Center. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

(USA TODAY) -

No. 2 Anaheim (30-12-6) vs. No. 7 Detroit (24-16-8)

Story line: Anaheim was the NHL's most surprising performer this season and Detroit extended its playoff run to 22 seasons.

Season series: Detroit won 2-1, outscoring Anaheim 9 -7. Anaheim won the first meeting 5-2 in February and Detroit won back-to-back games 5-1 and 2-1 in Anaheim in March.

Goalies: Anaheim's Viktor Fasth (15-6-2, 2.18, .921) vs. Detroit's Jimmy Howard (21-13-7, 2.13, .923). Fasth has never played an NHL playoff game, while Howard has 28 games of postseason experience. He has won a couple of playoff series, and he has three shutouts in his past seven starts.

Leading scorers: Anaheim, C Ryan Getzlaf (15-34-49), Detroit, C Pavel Datsyuk (15-34-49).

Who's hot: Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg and Datsyuk combined for 18 points in the four-game winning streak that put the team in the playoffs.

Injuries: Anaheim D, Luca Sbisa (lower body) day-to-day; Detroit, Todd Bertuzzi (back) and RW Mikael Samuelsson (groin) should be ready to play; C Darren Helm (back) out indefinitely.

Why the Ducks should win this series

1. C Ryan Getzlaf has had an exceptional season, and he's a big center who has caused matchup problems for Detroit in the past.

2. The Ducks have been a good road team this season (14-5-5), while the Red Wings have been inconsistent on the road.

3. Defense has been solid all season, the power play is among the league's best. On paper, the Ducks have more scoring depth than they have had in the past.

Why the Red Wings could post an upset

Over the final three weeks, the Red Wings began to move the puck like they did in their glory years. After struggling to score goals, the Red Wings scored 15 goals in their final four games. More important, they have tightened the screws defensively. They gave up 14 goals in regulation in their final 11 games. Although the Red Wings have some younger players, the veterans know how to win.

Prediction: Not many teams were playing as sharply as the Red Wings were at the end of the regular season. Detroit wins in six games.

USA TODAY

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