Why the Ducks complained about 1997 Detroit Red Wings before Game 3

In the spring of 1997 — a quarter-century ago — the Detroit Red Wings embarked on their quest to end a 42-year Stanley Cup drought.

The Free Press has commemorated that historic quest with a new book: “Stanleytown: The Inside Story of How the Stanley Cup Returned to the Motor City After 41 Frustrating Seasons.”

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Day 20: May 5, 1997

The backstory: After the five-hour-plus, three-overtime Game 2, the Red Wings and Mighty Ducks took to the skies for cross-country flights then rested before Game 3. The Ducks would make their stand at the Pond, where they had lost only once in their last 18 games (Game 5 to Phoenix in the first round). The teams didn’t do much on their off day in Anaheim, although the Ducks continued to flu about the officiating. The other hot topics were how Anaheim would handle its worsening injury woes — goalie Guy Hebert was out at least two games — and whether the Wings with a 2-0 lead finally were peaking — because their scorers and non-scorers were scoring. Ducks coach Ron Wilson did provide a bit of humor about the 2 hours, 42 minutes and 30 seconds of hockey at Joe Louis Arena.

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