Henrik Zetterberg and Daniel Cleary powered the Red Wings past Henrik and Daniel Sedin of the Canucks in a wild 5-4 OT win. Zetterberg's two goals and assist paired with Cleary's goal and assist outmatched the Sedins each adding a goal and assist.
Detroit's win didn't come without a sour note though as they lost the services of Pavel Datsyuk in the first period and Jimmy Howard had yet another night allowing four goals. Datsyuk was tripped up by former teammate Mikael Samuelsson and landed awkwardly on his wrist. Datsyuk didn't return in the game and the early report is that he broke his wrist and is out about four weeks.
Dan Cleary added to his team-leading totals in goals by popping his 15th of the year past Roberto Luongo at the 8:12 mark of the first period. Brian Rafalski flung a pass from his faceoff circle to Todd Bertuzzi at the Vancouver blueline and Bertuzzi and Cleary had a 2-on-1. Bertuzzi put a pass off to Cleary and he fired it past Luongo.
The Cancuks got on the board via the powerplay in the second period. The way they got the power play was a little frustrating as a Red Wings fan as Dan Cleary gets elbowed right in the face by a Canuck and then Brian Rafalski gets called for a questionable crosscheck. Nevertheless, the Canucks cash in quickly as Ryan Kesler slides one across to Henrik Sedin right on Howard's doorstep for a tie game. Valtteri Filppula puts the Wings back on the board by cleaning up a rebound at 6:29 of the second period. Jonathan Ericsson does a fake-shot pass down to Cleary outside the the faceoff dot. Cleary fires on Luongo and the rebound kicks out to his right, on the tape of Filppula and it's a 2-1 Detroit lead.
The rest of the scoring and analysis after the jump.
After Filppula closed his hand on the puck and was sent to the box, the Canucks again capitalized on the powerplay as Christian Ehrhoff got the puck down low to Kesler who this time got it over to Daniel Sedin for the powerplay goal in pretty much the same way as his brother's. Brad Stuart flubbed a pass in the offensive zone and the Canucks got a 3-on-2 the other way. Raffi Torres streaked in front of Howard and Henrik Sedin gets the pass across to former Red Wing Mikael Samuelsson. To the shock of everyone in Joe Louis Arena, Samuelsson's shot was on net and and it ended up in the back of the net.
Henrik Zetterberg scores a goal from an impossible angle on the backhand below the goal line and Luongo being Luongo, the puck squirts through and the Wings catch a big break and tie the game. Jeff Tambellini roofed a shot to the top corner over Howard's glove hand for a 4-3 Vancouver lead at 12:10 of the final frame.
Detroit wasn't done yet though and with Alex Burrows in the box for crosschecking, Henrik Zetterbergs shot on goal through a Tomas Holmstrom screen rebounded to Luongo's right and straight to Nicklas Lidstrom for the tying goal with under 4 minutes to play in the game.
In overtime, Luongo went down on a shot that got blocked by a defender and was slow getting back up. Zetterberg wound up and powered a one-timer past Luongo just as he was getting re-set in the crease for the game-winning goal. The win stopped the Red Wings' two game skid and helped them back to the top of the Western Conference. Tomorrow, they take on the Blues in St. Louis.
Player of the game:
As you can guess, Hank got the nod for this one. He was great all night and although his first goal was lucky, it still happened didn't it? He stepped up and provided some leadership for the Wings after Datsyuk left with the injury.
Honorable mentions go to Dan Cleary and Tomas Holmstrom--both played great games and worked their asses off.
- I'm sure that just like me you about soiled yourself when Jimmy pokechecked that puck right onto the stick of I think Alex Burrows. I thought for sure that thing was going into the back of the net.
- I promised Graham I'd put this on the recap from him "cool - I only ask that despite the score, you throw in the fact that Kesler dances like a fanboy and the Canucks are going to go down as bigger chokers than the Sharks if they don't get out of the 2nd round at least once"
- Scary moment in the first as Pavel Datsyuk went down after being tripped by the hand of Mikael Samuelsson. Datsyuk lands awkwardly on his arm/hand. He returned for a faceoff later in the first period but didn't take a draw and chose to defer to Tomas Holmstrom instead of taking it. That's how bad it must have been. Datsyuk wasn't on the bench to start the second period and was out the rest of the game. UPDATED (after I typed up this part): Datsyuk is out four weeks with a broken wrist.
- To Mikael Samuelsson, I offer you the same words you offered the Swedish National Team.
- The second period was a horribly officiated period. That's not me being a "Red Wing fan complaining about officiating", that's a hockey fan complaining about inconsistency. The call on Rafalski for crosschecking was okay in my book but the noncall on Cleary getting elbowed right in face was irritating. Later in the second period, Tomas Holmstrom gets called for high sticking by using his hand. Earlier in that play, Holmstrom was tripped up and crosschecked up high while he's on the ice. I thought the call on Samuelsson was pretty week too. A ton of inconsistency across the board in this game, I don't have the time to do it all though.
- Tomas Holmstrom got absolutely abused leading up to Lidstrom's goal. He got taken down in front of Luongo and then rocked by Kevin Bieksa behind the net. He gets up and heads immediately back in front of Luongo, screening for Zetterberg's shot on the game tying goal. I don't think there's another player in the league like Holmstrom. Not even close.
- I was really looking forward to watching Keith Ballard play but he disappointed me, he didn't incapacitate Luongo.
- Brad Stuart was close to having a good night. Keyword there was close. I think that other than the turnover he had leading to Samuelsson's goal he had a pretty solid night but that one mistake was costly. That always seems to be the way that things happen for Stuart, he'll make one or two mistakes but they'll end up being HUGE. Instead of Kronwall, who spent half of tonight below the face-off dot in the offensive zone...but I digress.
- Howard had another one of those nights. Yeah, he won but again he allowed four goals. You can discredit the two powerplay goals and the Samuelsson shot on the screen by Torres if you want but still, he's got to start getting it together and getting back to last year's form or that "slump" word will start to creep more and more into the vocabulary of Red Wings' fans.
- Darren Helm had a hell of a night and although it won't show up on the scoresheet, he was all over the ice tonight making some great plays. Same goes for Jiri Hudler, who was pretty good in the offensive zone and worked really hard ("so do washing machines") on one particular shift in the first period that actually ended up with him laying a big hit on a Canuck. Yes, really. I think both these guys are a snowball at the top of a hill right now, they're just waiting for that extra little push.
Morning Skate will be VERY brief tomorrow with the back-to-back, CSSI and the Datsyuk injury.