That, among other things, confirmed that the Ducks weren't in San Jose anymore.
Detroit's locomotion kept intensifying as the clock kept receding, and a shorthanded, somewhat lopsided team had trouble keeping pace. And when the puck finally stopped and everybody scrambled to find a chair, Nicklas Lidstrom kept moving forward.
Lidstrom, the NHL's most honored defenseman, shot the puck, watched it rebound and lie on the ice for what seemed like ages, and then shot it again, through Jonas Hiller's legs and right into the Ducks' willing heart.
It happened with 0:49 left, and it won Game 1 for Detroit, 3-2, and it outlined a truth for the Ducks as the Western Conference semifinals continue: The ends of these games won't be like the beginnings. And not like the San Jose series, in which the Ducks won the third period by a composite 9-2.
"We stopped doing some things in the third period," Coach Randy Carlyle said, referring to things like skating and getting the puck deep.
And shooting. The Red Wings had 18 shots on goal to Anaheim's seven, winding up winning the shot clock, 37-24.
Yet the Ducks were looking good in the second intermission, with Teemu Selanne having scored a four-on-three goal from the wing to tie it, 2-2, with :17 left.
Now the Ducks had 53 seconds of power-play time to begin the third. They indeed kept the puck in Detroit's zone throughout. And never shot it. The keep-away exhibition did nothing to bother goalie Chris Osgood, and it was about the last good chance the Ducks had.
"Sometimes you have to send a guy to the net, pass it from D to D, shoot it and try to get second chances," Carlyle said.
"We missed an opportunity tonight."
It's difficult to sustain late-game runs on the Red Wings because of their immense depth. Center Valterri Filppula has been a mystery to the Ducks for a couple of years now. He's on Detroit's third line.
And yet the Ducks' stars showed up well, particularly Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry (a first-period goal) and Jonas Hiller, who was fluster-proof. It's difficult to stay deadpan when Tomas Holmstrom is front of your net, like an eclipsing asteroid, or when Johan Franzen is charging in for a goal (after getting past Francois Beauchemin) and then running you over, without a call.
"Amazing, isn't it?" Carlyle said, referring to Franzen, not Hiller.
"I thought I made some good saves but you can't be happy when you lose the game," Hiller said. "On the winning goal I made the stop, and he (Lidstrom) came in all alone. He was very patient, did a good job of waiting me to move. Then he beat me five-hole.
"But we showed we could compete with that team."
Lidstrom does that, "jumping into holes" as he calls it, a master of the basics who makes you forget how difficult they are.
"The best thing about him is that he does the simple thing, again and again," Coach Mike Babcock said.
"I had some help because we had a guy occupying their defenseman (Chris Pronger)," Lidstrom said. "I thought I was kinda lucky to get it through him (Hiller) like that."
Earlier, Lidstrom had put Detroit up, 2-1, on a power play, with Holmstrom turning Hiller's day into night. Ryan Whitney was entangled with the Swedish bridge abutment, and his back was turned to the play when Lidstrom shot.
"Another guy's shot might have hit Whitney," Babcock said.
Now the Ducks brace themselves for bad news on Mike Brown, whose father runs a Harley-Davidson dealership outside Chicago and once sold a chopper to Chris Chelios, the 47-year-old who joined Brown in the corners Friday night.
Brown popped Jiri Hudler with his shoulder, and Hudler's face oozed blood after he hit the ice. Brown was given a 5-minute interference penalty and a game misconduct, meaning he was ejected and might get suspended for Sunday.
"I didn't see the play," Scott Niedermayer said, eyes flashing. "But it was a 5-minute interference penalty? I've never heard of that before. He (Hudler) must really have been interfered with."
Hudler did return, and the Wings, as advertised, were at least as hard-hitting as the Ducks. And rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, whom Babcock had compared to Pronger "without the high-sticking," was willing to turn a yap-fest with Perry into a fight.
"I told him he could fight Getz, Perry or Bobby Ryan — that's as long as the list gets," said Babcock, and you can infer that he thinks nobody else is really worth it.
Third periods, last series, exposed the Sharks' playoff soul. But if you remember the vinyl era, the Red Wings are an LP.
For a longer series, the Ducks need shorter games.