"I've been the other goalie," said the Mighty Ducks' Guy Hebert. "You find out you're going to give the other guy a break and it's going to be against Detroit in Detroit. You say, 'You've got to be kidding.' "
Mikhail Shtalenkov drew the dubious distinction Tuesday in the Ducks' 6-4 loss to Detroit, and after one period he was back at his accustomed spot on the bench after giving up four goals.
Three times in the first period, his teammates made him face Detroit's power play, one of the NHL's best. Three times, they scored, and Shtalenkov gave way to Hebert to start the second period trailing, 4-1.
Detroit got a goal from struggling Steve Yzerman, only his eighth of the season. Sergei Fedorov scored his 16th and Ray Sheppard scored twice, his 18th and his 19th. The Red Wings led by as much as 6-1 before the Ducks scored the final three goals, two of them by Joe Sacco, who has scored five in the last three games.
"This is an awfully difficult team to play against in their building," said Hebert, who was sharp in relief, stopping 20 of 22 shots. "I know, because too many times when I was with St. Louis, Curtis Joseph would play the first period and a half and get crushed and I'd go in to mop up.
"Three power-play goals in the first period, I think Mike just got put in a bad position. The team didn't help him out. A power play is all (the Red Wings) need to get going, and it's going to be an uphill fight all night. This team is way too talented to let them get three power-play goals in the first.
"Mikhail's a good goaltender. There are going to be better nights for him."
Shtalenkov didn't feel like talking about it. The last time he started a game he lost a chance for a victory in the final two minutes when the Kings' Dan Quinn scored on a penalty shot after Bob Corkum was called for deliberately dislodging the net. That game ended in a 3-3 tie.
In fairness to Shtalenkov and Duck Coach Ron Wilson, who made the decision to start him, the Ducks probably wouldn't have beaten Detroit anyway. The Red Wings lead the Western Conference, and in seven meetings over two seasons, the Ducks have never won. In fact, they've never given up fewer than four goals.
"Fedorov and (Paul) Coffey, I'm sorry, I'm not that quick skating backward to catch up to those guys," Duck defenseman Bobby Dollas said. "You give those guys any kind of time, sometimes you're almost in awe at the way they move that puck."
Wilson said he went with Shtalenkov Tuesday because he played well in relief of Hebert in a 5-2 loss at Chicago on Sunday.
"I just thought he was ready to come in with a big performance, but he wasn't able to make the big saves," Wilson said. "It's tough when you face their power play, but the power-play goals weren't great goals."
Detroit winger Dino Ciccarelli, who had two assists, played in his 1,000th regular-season game, becoming the 100th player in NHL history to reach that mark. "If someone had told me my 1,000th game would come against the Mighty Ducks, I would have really laughed," he said. . . . Detroit Coach Scotty Bowman, who has won more games than any coach in NHL history, has passed the 900-victory mark. His career record in the regular season is 901-417-236. . . . Duck rookie Paul Kariya, who won the Hobey Baker Award as the best U.S. college player as a freshman at the University of Maine in 1993, said his younger brother, Steven, has committed to play for the Black Bears. Steven, 5 feet 7 and 140 pounds, scored 99 points this season for Nanaimo, a Tier II junior team in the the British Columbia Hockey League. . . . Kariya's scheduled compensation of $2.825 million this season ties the first-year player for 15th among the highest-paid players in the NHL, according to rankings by The Hockey News. The Kings' Wayne Gretzky, scheduled to make $6.531 million, ranks first. Actual compensation will be somewhat less since the salary portion will be pro-rated because of the shortened season.