In a game in which the Red Wings should have gone home empty handed based on their play, they earned a point. In a game in which all expectations pointed to a Detroit win, they lost. It was a nice paradoxical night, huh?
Kris Draper scored his first goal in 30 games off the face-off close to the midpoint of the first period. Darren Helm drew the puck back to Jonathan Ericsson who tossed it at Chris Mason. Mason couldn't find the handle and the puck ended up going off Draper's skate and in. The goal was reviewed but stood and the Wings were off to a lucky 1-0 start.
Then the wheels fell off in the second period as Paul Kariya tallied back to back goals late in the second period. The first came after David Perron exited the penalty box and joined Kariya on the rush. Perron's shot went off the stick of Valtteri Filppula and then Kariya to tie game. Later, Kariya was hooked behind the net by Todd Bertuzzi but eventually put the puck past Jimmy Howard while the defense stood and watched.
Andy MacDonald deflected an Erik Johnson pass through Howard's five-hole on the power play early in the third for a 3-1 St. Louis lead. Seemingly game over at the time.
Call it scrapping out a point if you want, but I call it luck. Pavel Datsyuk's skate became a target for a Henrik Zetterberg pass and the puck banked off into the net at 14:26 of the third. The second Wings goal scored via an inadvertent boot. A few minutes later, a loose puck sat in the crease until Valtteri Filppula poked at it and tied the game up at 3. The Wings held on for the much needed point as the game headed into overtime.
Overtime saw plenty of chances both ways but no bigger play was made than the incredible Jimmy Howard save on what looked like it was going to be a game-ending tip-in on a fast break for St. Louis. On to the shootout where MacDonald misses, Datsyuk fumbles the puck, T.J. Oshie five-holes Howard, and Williams dangles then backhands Mason. One shooter left each, Brad Boyes skated in and deked Howard into committing hard to the stick side before bringing it back to the glove slide and scoring easily. Zetterberg was the last shooter for Detroit and with the extra point hanging on his stick, he simply fired a shot straight on Mason blocker side high; resulting in the conclusion of the shootout.
Six goals in regulation; 2 by deflection, 2 by skate, and 2 by tap-ins. Another 3-point game the Wings were involved in and again to a team chasing them. Analysis on the game and the return of Johan Franzen in the morning.
Player of the game: Jimmy Howard. I know, he gave up 3 goals and 2 shootout goals. But without him playing the way he did tonight, it could have very easily been a blowout. Two of the three goals Howard allowed were deflections, something that is always hard to truly fault a goalie for. Jimmy moved well in net all night and faced several barrages of shots from St. Louis.