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LAst Night's Action: Ducks Shutout in Opener by Red Wings

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Detroit Red Wings defeat Anaheim Ducks 4-0. To be honest the Ducks didn’t look horrible the entire game, but early scoring by the Wings took the Ducks out of it. Johan Franzen got things started 5:11 in the game with Mike Modano, freshly signed after a nice send-off by the Dallas Stars, following up just 24 seconds later to give Detroit the quick 2-0 lead. Their overall deficiencies were further exposed as Pavel Datsyuk (5:29) and Dan Cleary (16:55) added two goals in the second period. Two positive notes for the Ducks: their penalty-kill group did not allow a goal in six Detroit power-play opportunities for 9:09 minutes, and top draft pick Cam Fowler played well in his debut playing 20:48 with five blocked shots and a hit. The Ducks will have to quickly regroup as they have a game Saturday night in Nashville. Jonas Hiller made 39 saves for the Ducks while Jimmy Howard saved all 21 shots for the Red Wings.

NOTABLE NOTES

To Err Is Human. And it also leads to your demise. In these playoffs we’ve seen how errors come back to bite your ass. Thursday night witnessed the Atlanta Braves fumble their way against the San Francisco Giants with an errant call at second base leading to the Giants only run.

Well on this Friday the Cincinnati Reds were the ones to fall on their own sword. Leading 4-3 in the seventh inning with Aroldis Chapman pitching his heaters, it started to fall apart when he nicked leadoff hitter Chase Utley with a 102 mph fastball on the wrist. After Ryan Howard struck out, Jayson Werth reached on a fielder’s choice with the late tag at second base allowing Utley to be safe also. Then disaster.

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Jimmy Rollins hit a soft liner to right fielder Jay Bruce who lost the ball in the lights. By the time he located the ball, it was zooming past him rolling towards the warning track. In scored Utley. Center fielder Drew Stubbs backed up the play and threw the ball to relay man second baseman Brandon Phillips. Phillips looking to make a play at home plate to get Werth out dropped the ball, Werth scored and the Phillies led 5-4.

One more run scored in that inning, but that was just the whipped cream on the sundae. E9-E4, game over.

In all the Reds made four errors in the game resulting in five of the seven Phillies’ runs to be unearned. And the surprising part of all of this is the fact that the Reds were one of the top fielding teams in the Majors.

It will be interesting to see how divine the Cincinnati faithful are when the series resumes there on Sunday. I remember in Game 2 of the NLDS against the New York Mets, the Dodgers made a base running gaffe in the second inning off of Russell Martin’s double to right field with Jeff Kent on second and JD Drew on first. Kent got chopped down at the plate and just seconds later Drew was right there to get called out too - a 9-6-2-2 double play. When the Dodgers returned for Game 3, the entire stadium booed third base coach Rich Donnelly during pregame introductions for appearing to give the runners the green light. So we here in Los Angeles are not divine.

In San Francisco this time it was the home team’s mistakes that cost them. Also jumping out to a 4-0 lead over the Atlanta Braves, things looked peachy for the Giants. But a misplay in left field by Pat Burrell on Derrick Lee’s single to lead off the sixth inning allowed him to take second base and score on Brian Mccann’s single. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval compounded things in the eighth inning with a throwing error that allowed Lee to score on Melky Cabrera’s grounder. Two errors led to two unearned runs that were the difference in the game. Rick Ankiel would hit a solo homer in the 11th inning to win the game for the Braves.

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It looks like the moral of the story is the National League’s defense sucks.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

UCLA Bruins (3-2, 1-1 Pac-10) at California Golden Bears (2-2, 0-1 Pac-10). 12:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 570 KLAC.

USC Trojans(4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) at #16 Stanford Cardinal (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10). 5:00 pm ABC, AM 710 KSPN.

LA Kings (0 pts., 0-0-0) at Vancouver Canucks (0 pts., 0-0-0). 7:00 pm FSWest, AM 1150 KTLK.

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Anaheim Ducks (0 pts., 0-1-0) at Nashville Predators (0 pts., 0-0-0). 5:00 pm KDOC, AM 830 KLAA.

Toronto FC (31 pts., 8-12-7) at Chivas USA (25 pts., 7-15-4). 7:30 pm Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Español, AM 690 W Radio (en español).