Wings drop series opener in Anaheim

So much for scoring three or more goals in four straight games.

For the Red Wings to grab home-ice advantage from the Anaheim Ducks, they’re going to have to get a lot more shots on net.

There’s no question Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller had a great game, making 21 of 22 saves as the Ducks beat the Wings, 3-1, in Game 1 of their first-round series.

“We couldn’t really sustain any pressure and time in their end,” captain Henrik Zetterberg told FOX Sports Detroit’s John Keating on the postgame show. “When we got in there, we were mostly one-and-done. It’s tough to get many quality chances.”

For any playoff team, 22 shots just won’t be enough. The Wings had six shots in the first, five shots in the second and 11 in the third.

The Wings averaged right around 30 shots during the regular season, and that’s probably where they need to be.

“There was not enough thrown at Hiller, for sure,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall told Keating. “This time of the year, shots from everywhere, just get it in there and create some chaos in front of the net. You never know where the puck’s going to bounce.”

Before Jakub Kindl showed growth this season and Danny DeKeyser joined the team, the Wings had trouble getting the puck out of their own zone.

That problem seemed to rear its ugly head in Game 1, whether that was due to playoff inexperience by Kindl, DeKeyser or Brendan Smith or something else.

“My biggest concern for us is, we looked exactly like we did tonight in the first 20-25 games of the season, where we couldn’t move the puck on the back,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We weren’t efficient. We weren’t a five-man unit.’

“… When you spend so much time in your own zone you don’t spend much time in the offensive zone.”

Although the Wings did score their goal on the power play, it was right as a 5-on-3 expired. In their other two chances, they didn’t have the same kind of success.

“After we shot the puck, it ended up on their stick instead of ours,” Zetterberg said. “Yhey put it 200 feet and we had to go and get it again. It’s something that we gotta change.”

These are all fixable things and things that had been working for the Wings the final week of the regular season. However, the Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars didn’t make the playoffs so they’re not at the Ducks’ level.

“I thought their team was better than our team,” Babcock said. “I thought they controlled more of the play, they had more cycles.

“There was a period in the second period for about 10 minutes where I thought they got two-on-ones and crazy chances for no reason. Poor decisions by us.

“The bottom line is, they won Game 1. We got to get regrouped and play much better.”

Three stars:

1) Jonas Hiller: He didn’t have a ton of shots or much sustained pressure, but he made a few spectacular saves which left one asking, “How did that not go in?” Most likely Valtteri Filppula is asking himself that after Game 1.

2) Teemu Selanne: With the retirement of Nick Lidstrom, Anaheim’s Selanne is now the active ageless wonder at 42. Selanne only took one shot in the game but it went in the net before he even realized it. Still dangerous after all these years.

3) Jimmy Howard: Howard faced a lot more extended pressure than his counterpart did. Both goals scored on him were on the power play, one off a deflection. Howard made 24 saves and will have to be even better in Game 2.