The Anaheim Ducks' brother act, Scott and Rob Niedermayer, have been bonding on the postseason score sheet.
Scott scored the winning goal in the Ducks' 4-3 overtime victory in Game 2 that evened the Western Conference finals against Detroit. That victory gave Anaheim home-ice advantage heading into Tuesday night's contest against the Red Wings.
Oddsmakers have made Anaheim -175 money line (NHL Odds) favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 4.5 total goals (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 69% of bets for this game have been placed on Anaheim -175 (View NHL Bet Percentages).
Rob opened the scoring for the Ducks, then helped end it when he fed his brother for the winner.
``He sort of gave me a yell, and I just chipped it to him. He made a great shot,'' Rob said of Scott's goal at 14:17 of overtime in Sunday night's game in Detroit.
A couple of games earlier, the brothers teamed to end another contest.
Rob leveled Vancouver's Jannick Hansen to jar the puck loose deep in the Canucks' zone. The puck squirted across to Scott, and he quickly got off a wrist shot from the left point that beat Roberto Luongo for a 2-1 victory in the second overtime.
That win wrapped up the conference semifinal series in five games.
``It's great. The playoffs are a special time for all of us players, and to go through it with Scott like this,'' said Rob, a forward. ``It was special last year, and this run, it's been great.
``It's something we talked about before he made the decision to come here. It was a big decision for him. It's worked out well with him coming here and us playing together.''
Scott, a 33-year-old defenseman who is 16 months older than Rob, left New Jersey to sign with the Ducks in August 2005, deciding to join his brother instead of taking a deal with the Devils that would have paid him more than his four-year, $27-million contract with Anaheim.
``To be able to be on the same team on the same side pulling together, it's been fun, this year, last year,'' Scott said.
``Teaming up for goals, that's neat. Just every day being able to come to the rink together and working for the same team, it's been fun.''
Scott, the 2004 Norris Trophy winner and a finalist this season to be the NHL's top defenseman, has two goals and five assists in the Ducks' 12 postseason games. Rob has two goals and two assists.
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said the brothers are quite different on the ice, but similar in outlook.
``They're two opposites, really, in my perspective. One (Rob) is a big winger, puck-controlling, strong skater, strong along the wall,'' the coach said. ``The other guy is more of an effortless type of skater. He floats on his skates.
``Robby Niedermayer has that ability to control the puck in the corner. Scotty is more adept with the stick.''
The two have other things in common, though.
``They both have a burning desire to play the game,'' Carlyle said. ``They both enjoy the game dramatically.''
The coach likes the family tie.
``When you have a brother combination, when they do combine in the effort they displayed last night (in Detroit), it's always a nice tribute to their family, their upbringing,'' Carlyle said. ``It's like a good luck story. There was nobody happier than their teammates for them to combine for the winning goal.''
Although the Ducks gained home ice with the split in Detroit, they expect the Red Wings to be fired-up for Game 3.
``We know we're in for another tough one,'' Rob Niedermayer said. ``Dominik Hasek is playing great and they have a lot of skilled guys.''
Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom said the Red Wings have to rev up their offense. They were outshot by Anaheim in each of the first two games.
``We have to take more shots, create more chances,'' Lidstrom said. ``We know we have to play better offensively, especially 5-on-5.''
``We haven't played our best game yet,'' Hasek said.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock, the Ducks' coach when they made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2003 against Scott Niedermayer and the New Jersey Devils, expects the Red Wings to bounce back.
``I don't believe anybody thought this was going to be easy,'' he said. ``Not to take anything away from the other team, but we don't think we have played anywhere near as well as we can play.''
Anaheim left wing Chris Kunitz will undergo surgery Tuesday on his broken right hand and is doubtful for the rest of the postseason.
Kunitz broke a bone late in the opening game of the series against Detroit. Dustin Penner and Todd Marchant helped fill his spot in the Ducks' series-tying, overtime victory in Game 2.
Kunitz had a goal and five assists in the Ducks' first 11 playoff games this year.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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