The Detroit Red Wings picked the perfect time to streak to a season-high four-game winning streak, and as a result they find themselves heading into the playoffs to meet the Anaheim Ducks. While being the seventh seed is something the Red Wings aren’t very familiar with, they did have some success against the Ducks this season and should make things interesting in this matchup.
One of the keys to the Red Wings’ run in the final weeks of the season was an incredibly successful power play. If there is a weakness in the Ducks’ game, it could be the penalty kill. While experiencing a lot of success recently, the Ducks finished the season barely ranked in the top half of the league in penalty kill percentage. The Red Wings would do themselves a huge service by using some power play scoring to give goaltender Jimmy Howard more of a cushion.
Captain Henrik Zetterberg had four goals and 23 points on the power play this season, and is one of the hottest Red Wings at the moment. The final four games saw him deliver on scoring as well as leadership, and he will be one of the players the Ducks need to focus on shutting down. That still leaves Pavel Datsyuk (eight PP goals, 16 PP points) and Johan Franzen (six PP goals, 12 PP points) to worry about, which could spell trouble for the Ducks. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall again proved to be a big threat with the man-advantage as he chipped in two goals and 14 assists.
The Red Wings scored five power play goals in their final four games, and if they want to upset the Ducks in this series continuing that success will put them in great position to do so.