The Red Wings wrapped up a trip to Western Canada with another shootout win, this time over the NHL leading Vancouver Canucks. Jimmy Howard played huge in net tonight for the Red Wings, despite originally expecting to have tonight off. Howard won his 22nd game of the year and it was well deserved against the NHL's top team in points.
Daniel Sedin scored his 25th goal of the season while the Canucks were on the power play. Tomas Holmstrom took a very dumb penalty for interference to put the Canucks on the man advantage and Sedin scored to put the Canucks up 1-0, 12:09 into the 2nd period. Henrik Sedin took a slapshot from above the face-off dot that Howard kicked out to a safe part of the ice. But proving there's no safe part of the ice when the Sedins have a powerplay, Daniel swooped in and buried the rebound.
See how the rest of the night played out and discussion after the jump.
Johan Franzen tied the game up for the Red Wings early in the third period with a shot past Roberto Luongo's gloveside. Franzen got a great saucer pass from Henrik Zetterberg and split the Vancouver defenders to get in alone on Luongo. Franzen fired quickly and the Wings were on the board.
Both teams had some great chances throughout the third period and a successful penalty kill in the last half of the period helped the Red Wings push the game to overtime. In overtime, the Red Wings had the best scoring chance as Niklas Kronwall buried what seemed to be the game winning goal. However, on his way to the front of the net, Todd Bertuzzi bumped Luongo (who was out of the crease) and Luongo found his way to the ice, warranting the officials to call the goal off. The Wings went to the shootout and it looked a little something like this...
:: Shootout summary ::
- Tambellini tries to go gloveside, Howard gets his arm up quick for the glove save.
- Jiri Hudler just winds up and rips a shot from right in between the face-off dot above Luongo's right leg for a goal.
- Ryan Kesler skates in with a tiny deke (hehe), fires right into Howard's left leg for the pad save.
- Todd Bertuzzi swings wide and goes for a hip twist that looked like it might have worked had he started it further out, but Luongo pokechecks it away.
- Daniel Sedin skates in and dekes a little bit, fires it right into Howard's chest for the save. Game over, good night.
Jiri Hudler's slapshot goal and Howard's saves sealed the win for the Red Wings. This was a great team performance from the Red Wings, enhanced by stellar play from Howard. Detroit fought very hard for this win after taking the shootout win last night in Calgary. The Red Wings travel to Colorado to face the Avalanche on Monday night.
No question about it, James "Tiberius" Howard earned this one with an excellent performance. Howard made some absolutely huge stops (one each on a Sedin twin) and was on top of his game against one of the best teams in the league. If Calgary version of Jimmy Howard showed up, the Wings would have been blown out. But it didn't, and he had one hell of a game to earn the full two points for the Red Wings.
:: Three points for discussion ::
- Henrik Zetterberg had one hell of a game. Except for the penalty for holding, Hank was doing everything out there tonight and was working his tail off. He really carried the team in the neutral and offensive zone and even blocked two shots on the night in the defensive zone. He won 57% of his draws on the night and registered 6 of the shots on goal for the Wings.
And the Oscar goes to...
John TurturroRoberto Luongo. A few of you touched on this in the game thread and you were dead on. What a very risky (and dumb) thing for Luongo to do late in the overtime period by hoping for a contact call when Bertuzzi bumped him. Luongo definitely embellished that, or he has the worst balance of anyone in the NHL and shouldn't be allowed on skates. I wish the game had ended with that for two reasons: 1.) Canuck fans would go apeshit and 2.) I love seeing floppers get punished for flopping.
- Back to the man of the night, hopefully this is one of those games that really cranks Howard's performance to 11. The phrase "calm, cool and collected" comes to mind tonight and definitely applies to how he played. Howard was quick with his moves and saw the puck well, add in the confidence that built with every save he made and he was exceptional by the end of the night. Is this the game that we look to at the end of the year for him turning his game around?