The Wings welcomed Anaheim to the Joe Louis Arena and kicked them back out after handing them a 5-4 defeat in the last-minute. In great schadenfreude fashion, the game-winning goal was scored by Pavel Datsyuk with only 11 seconds left on the clock in the third after former Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja handed the puck over in his own zone. Nice to see the Wings finally remember how to get a last-minute goal of their own.
The Wings did not play this game as well as they could have, but turned it on when it mattered. This tactic will not work so well in the future against more highly-skilled teams, but fortunately they were only playing the Ducks tonight. Perry and Getzlaf were effectively rendered quiet in this game, sharing one assist between them and each going minus-1 on the evening. Still, the Wings outshot Anaheim 41-25 and eked out a victory. Part of that was the goaltending of Curtis McElhinney (third star on the night) and part of it was sloppy play.
With that, let's get to the CSSI
Jimmy Howard was not tested much, only making two big saves on the evening. For the most part, the goals that got by him were bad defensive lapses. He did give up one bad goal to Teemu Selanne though and two minor mistakes on the Ducks' second and third goals are enough to credit him with two extra halves of a bad goal (bringing the total to two bad goals). Overall, he did well pushing rebounds out to his teammates and avoided overplaying pucks the rest of the night. On the night, his rating is even.
Scoring and plus/minus after the jumpThe Goals
1st Period 7:42 - Detroit Goal (PP): Henrik Zetterberg (slap shot) from Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom
The Wings were on this power play due to a very weak interference call. After things threatened to get very chippy, the stripes calmed things down by sending Corey Perry to the box for trying to occupy the same space as Johan Franzen. I didn't know trying to break the laws of physics was a penalty nowadays, but it sure as hell wasn't interference. The Wings win the faceoff to start the power play and cycle the puck around the zone fairly well. Lidstrom shoots the puck high and wide, where it careens off the glass to Modano at the half-boards. Modano feeds to Holmstrom behind the net who feints taking it around the back before dishing out to Lidstrom at the point and heading to his office. Lidstrom freezes the D by winding up for the slap shot and passing to Zetterberg at the top of the faceoff circle. Zetterberg releases a quick slap shot which finds its way past McElhinney with Holmstrom screening. Modano picks up an assist for feeding Holmstrom behind the net and Holmstrom gets a half-plus for his job screening the goaltender.
1st Period 19:38 - Anaheim Goal: Bobby Ryan (wrist shot) from Ryan Getzlaf and Lubomir Visnovsky
The referee helps the Ducks keep the puck in the zone as Filppula fights to get it up ice. Visnovsky keeps the puck in high with Franzen and Bertuzzi pressuring him at the point. He throws the puck low around the boards to Getzlaf, who dishes from the trapezoid to Ryan out front for the easy put-away. Every Red Wings player made a mistake on this play and they all deserve the minus they get from it, but no one player was especially responsible, so there will be no scoring change. Franzen and Bertuzzi both fail to stop Visnovsky from dumping the puck back deep; Filppula is too far to the inside, Stuart loses track of Ryan, and Lidstrom is too far up ice with Corey Perry behind him.
2nd Period 6:34 - Anaheim Goal: Ryan Carter (wrist shot) from Todd Marchant and Lubomir Visnovsky
The Ducks dump the puck weakly into the Detroit zone where it sits on the boards about ten feet in from the blue line. Kindl loses a race to slap the puck back out and Modano gets only a weak attempt at a backhand scoop on it that Bobby Ryan intercepts and takes lower into the zone. Salei cuts off Ryan's path to the net, forcing him to cycle around and get it back to the point. Sheldon Brookbank receives the puck and sends it across ice to Visnovsky at the other point, who shoots it on net. The puck hits Ryan Carter's skate out front as he's tied up with Kindl. Todd Marchant sweeps in and releases a backhand at Jimmy Howard that deflects off his pad out front, where Carter collects it and puts it into the open net. Hudler and Cleary were doing their jobs on this play, both backchecking and attacking their points. Cleary could have done better to be in the shooting lane, but the speed at which that play developed mitigates that. Neither Cleary nor Hudler receive a minus. Salei receives an extra minus for his failure to either clear the rebound or tie up Carter. Howard is going to give rebounds like that, especially after scrambling to stop a slap shot from the point that gets blocked. He did well to get back into position to stop the Marchant shot.
2nd Period 7:08 - Anaheim Goal: Danny Syvret (wrist shot) from Bobby Ryan and Troy Bodie
34 seconds after the second Anaheim goal, they get another. This play starts as Helm collects the puck in the neutral zone and cycles back to Janik to start the rush up ice. Janik has an outlet in Kronwall next to him, but tries going up the center back to Helm, who is covered by Troy Bodie. The Ducks winger intercepts the outlet and feeds to Ryan. As Eaves skates toward the play, Ryan passes across to Syvret coming late and high into the zone. Syvret walks it in closer and releases a wrist shot that beats Howard high to the glove side, bounces off the far post, just across the line at the near post, and immediately back out. Replay confirmed this was a good goal. Kronwall, Helm, and Miller are cleared of their minuses. Eaves keeps his minus for failing to pick up Syvret and Janik gets an extra minus-and-a-half for the cardinal sin of getting a puck up the middle picked off in his own zone.
2nd Period 10:23 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (tip-in) from Todd Bertuzzi and Valtteri Filppula
Franzen scrambles a faceoff in the Detroit zone and the Wings start the play up ice. Mule passes to Filppula who carries into neutral ice before being pinched off by the Anaheim defense; he wisely dumps the puck in behind the net and starts his forecheck. Bertuzzi races in to pressure Andreas Lilja behind the net and ends up stealing the puck. Bert brings the puck out front and passes across ice to Franzen sneaking in the back door. Franzen gets a shot away that is initially stopped by McElhinney and sits in the crease. Franzen follows up his shot (twice) and slaps the puck home before the Ducks can clear. Bertuzzi collects a half-plus for his excellent forechecking, even drawing a penalty that Detroit never got the chance to collect on during the play.
2nd Period 17:08 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Holmstrom (tip-in) from Brad Stuart and Henrik Zetterbeg
Datsyuk starts this play by bringing the puck into Anaheim's zone on a 1-on-3 partially-supported rush. Pavel takes the puck behind the net and outmuscles two Anaheim defenders to allow Detroit's forecheck to get set. The puck travels up the boards to Getzlaf, who tries to clear, but has his pass tipped by Holmstrom before Zetterberg sets it on a tee for Stuart to fire a half-slap shot into the zone. Holmstrom tips the puck from the high slot and it finds its way between McElhinney's legs as he moves laterally to stop the original angle of the shot. Datsyuk will get a half-assist for backing off the defense and creating the space for this goal.
3rd Period 8:32 - Anaheim Goal: Teemu Selanne (snap shot) unassisted
The Wings third line cycles the puck low pretty well at the outset of this play. Hudler finds Modano in the right faceoff circle for a shot that gets blocked. As three Ducks converge on Modano and the puck, Cleary takes it and skates to the boards. Here, Cleary has the choice to dump the puck deep and start the cycle again or to try to pass to Kronwall to create space. He tries passing to Kronwall but the puck is intercepted by Selanne, who pokes the puck to center ice and goes off to the races the other way. Kronwall is caught flat-footed at the Ducks' blue line and cannot make up the step he's already lost on the Finnish Flash. Teemu waits for Howard to commit to covering his post before sliding the puck through his five-hole. This was a weak goal for Howard to have given up, but Cleary, Kronwall, and Janik, each keep the minus they earned on this play. Hudler and Modano have their minuses erased. Janik keeps his minus because as that pairing's resident stay-at-home defenseman, he played too aggressively. He likely would not have been able to stop Selanne on his rush, but he was not in good position.
3rd Period 11:17 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (tip-in) from Brad Stuart and Nicklas Lidstrom
Pavel Datsyuk wins an offensive zone faceoff cleanly back to Lidstrom, who dishes to Brad Stuart in the middle of the zone at the blue line. Stuart is immediately pressured by Todd Marchant at the line. To keep from losing the zone, Stuart throws a wrist shot toward the net, which Zetterberg redirects in the low slot past McElhinney to tie the game at four apiece. Datsyuk picks up an assist for winning the faceoff which led directly to this goal.
3rd Period 19:48 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg
Starting with 1:12 left to go in the game, Detroit piles on the pressure and pins the Ducks in their zone. There is a brief clear with about 47 seconds remaining, but Datsyuk collects the puck in the neutral zone and immediately throws it back in, allowing only Sheldon Brookbank to change for Lubomir Visnovsky, trapping the remaining Ducks on their long shift. After a battle behind the net, the puck comes around the boards where it partially handcuffs Stuart at the blue line. Stuart smartly recovers from his mishandle and pokes it lower in the zone to Zetterberg. Z and Dats cycle high at the blue line to create space before Datsyuk feeds Lidstrom at the point. LIdstrom releases a slap shot that is weakly blocked by Andreas Lilja out front; the puck kicks to Datsyuk coming in, who collects it and makes Lilja his bitch before finding the top corner of McElhinney's glove-side for the game-winning goal. Cleary gets an assist for both his work down low and for screening the goaltender.
+1.5 to Henrik Zetterberg: four points on the night, first star honors, natural +3 rating still not fitting. Zetterberg was a beast on the ice tonight. He was always in the right passing lanes and would have easily scored a hat trick if not for McElhinney stoning him a few times.
+1 to Brad Stuart: two easy-to-tip shots from the point and two assists don't tell the whole story on Stuart's night. He did as much as anybody to make sure Corey Perry left the Joe Louis Arena with zero points and a minus-1 rating.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk: While not as electrifying as Zetterberg tonight, he took control in the third. In times when you need your stars to shine and they do, they get credit. The first line was on for zero goals against and four goals for the Wings.
+0.5 to Tomas Holmstrom: His contribution tonight shouldn't be overlooked. His two points do belie how effective he was, but not completely. Holmstrom was effective both defensively and on the offensive boards. He was doing a wonderful job of placing screens and opening space for his creative linemates.
Wings rest until Thursday, where they'll face a Phoenix squad looking to get even for ruining their home opener. Look for Wings fans to kill the meantime with
clubs, knives, torches, and sticks goalie controversies and poo-flinging.