It wasn't pretty and it wasn't short but the Red Wings got it done after 11 shootout rounds and are now sitting pretty at 6th place in the West. The win was the fifth straight for Detroit--a season high--and the Red Wings are now a remarkable 11-2-1 since the Olympics.
Detroit and Nashville were scoreless after 60:00 of play so the game went to the overtime and eventually the shootout. Both goalies earned a shutout (Howard's 2nd of the season) in the effort and both teams a point, preventing Detroit from moving to 5th place. With the win, Detroit vaulted Colorado and Los Angeles and put itself a single point behind Nashville for 5th place with 7 games to play.
In the shootout, Todd Bertuzzi opened the scoring with a nice deke that got Pekka Rinne down to the ice. Bert backhanded the puck in for a 1-0 Detroit lead in the shootout. Steve Sullivan came back at the other end and had a nice move that left Howard on his right post before Sullivan netted the puck on the left side.
Detroit went through Datsyuk, Williams, Zetterberg, Franzen, Bertuzzi, Filppula, Miller, HOLMSTROM, Eaves, and Draper before Niklas Kronwall skated in to beat Pekka Rinne for the eventual game winner. Howard stopped Francis Bouillon with confidence to give the Wings the full two points and a healthy 8 point lead on Calgary.
I missed the majority of the game because of driving back from Detroit to Virginia but what I saw, I liked. The bits I saw in regulation and in the shootout showed that Jimmy Howard was incredible. He had a game saving stop on a great Nashville chance late in regulation. He had the glove working again and was solid in the shootout.
Shocking stat of the night: Um...yeah. Kronwall won the game in the shootout after 9 of the 10 prior shooters couldn't. Also, Darren Helm won 11 of the 13 draws he took.
Player of the game: Jimmy Howard. Howard stopped all 33 shots in regulation and 9 of the 11 shots he faced in the shootout (Hornqvist missed the net).