Detroit welcomed Anaheim into the Joe in a battle of two struggling teams. By the end, it looked as though only Detroit had pulled out of their funk (hopefully). The Red Wings dominated this game from start-to-finish and got the Ducks so far off their game that Teemu Selanne got thrown out for mouthing off at the refs.
The Wings were the beneficiary of a waved-off goal for a change, as Corey Perry bumped Howard on a Luca Sbisa goal. This was a good call though. The Wings took 18 shots in the first period and didn't let Anaheim get their 18th until their fifth shot in the third period. The power play got going with 1 goal on 4 opportunities (although their first goal was again only seconds after the expiration of a penalty). Meanwhile, the Ducks went 0-for-5 on their chances, which included a very brief 5-on-3.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 07:04 - Detroit Goal: Niklas Kronwall (slap shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen
The Wings end a power play (see non-adjustments) with good pressure in the zone as Zetterberg tries to set up the same slapshot into a teammate's stick that created a goal for Lidstrom against Minnesota. The puck misses, but Zetterberg, Franzen, and Filppula combine to regain the cycle as the power play ends. Finally, Filppula feeds it to Kronwall at the point right as Macenauer gets back into the play. Kronwall steps off the boards and fires a slapshot that Hiller picks up late thanks to a Franzen screen. Zetterberg will get the third assist on this play and Franzen will pick up a screener's assist. As far as pluses go, this goal happens six seconds after the expiration of a penalty and the penalized player is standing in the low slot when the puck goes in. I have a hard time saying that he was truly "back in" the play, since perhaps Kronwall doesn't get that point shot off if Macenauer is already back, but if he had taken a direct line to Kronwall, he might have prevented that shot (although it would have involved Macenauer being very out of position). I'm going to let everybody (Franzen, Filppula, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Hudler) keep only a half-plus.
Penalty Adjustment: at 8:56, the Wings break the forecheck pressure when Hudler pops a puck out of the zone at the boards past Kurtis Foster. Emmerton is quick on Foster and past him quickly. As a result, Foster interferes with him and takes a penalty. I'm going to let Hudler and Emmerton each have a half-plus for helping draw this penalty.
2nd Period 01:55 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (snap shot) from Johan Franzen and Nicklas Lidstrom
After a shot attempt in the Detroit zone off a weird Anaheim offensive set involving Getzlaf at the top of the zone, the Wings clear it out. Zetterberg picks it up at center and carries around the edge of the Anaheim zone. He passes Lidstrom in the far corner and skates high enough to switch places before passing it back to Nick and covering the point. Nick goes to Franzen as they set up the cycle. Franzen controls at the low boards while Lidstrom goes back to the point and Filppula goes to the front. Franzen hits Zetterberg coming back through the middle of the ice with inside position on Perry. The pass is in tight on Zetterberg, but he's able to go skate-to-stick and wire a snap shot over the stick side while Filppula screens. This is a great play setup by the whole unit. Filppula will get the screener's assist. He's not only tying up both Anaheim d-men, but he's also the reason Hiller is leaning right when the shot beats him to his left.
2nd Period 02:45 - Detroit Goal: Nicklas Lidstrom (slap shot) from Drew Miller and Fabian Brunnstrom
Less than a minute later, the Wings fourth line gets in on the fun. White dumps it in off a faceoff win and Emmerton with Brunnstrom goes to retrieve on the far side half-boards. The Wings win this board battle with Brunnstrom poking it to Miller behind the net. While Brunnstrom follows up on the play by driving Macenauer away from Miller and into the front of the net, Miller tries to bounce a puck from a sharp angle off the goalie and in. Instead, the puck goes all the way through the crease and bounces off the far side boards to the top of the circle where Lidstrom steps into a one-timer that beats Hiller (who is tied up with Brunnstrom). Emmerton is going to get the third assist on this play. I like what Brunnstrom does here using his body, but I can't in good conscience give him any bonus adjustments for committing what was two acts of interference though.
Penalty Adjustment: 3:36 into the 2nd, Johan Franzen goes for hooking. He gets his stick between Bobby Ryan's legs in the corner of the Wings' zone and runs the ol' can-opener on him. It's a good call and Franzen will get a minus.
3rd Period 01:39 - Detroit Goal (PP): Nicklas Lidstrom (slap shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Ian White
The Penalty: Teemu Selanne (unsportsmanlike conduct) - No idea what Selanne said to the refs here, but I'm pretty sure nobody on the Wings forced him to say it. No adjustment.
The Ducks commit three of their PKers to the corner to take the puck from Datsyuk and Cleary. They're actually able to do this, but Lydman flubs the clear and Ian White keeps it in. White goes to Lidstrom, who passes to Datsyuk while the Wings set the umbrella back up. Datsyuk draws Andrew Gordon in and throws a nifty backhand pass to Lidstrom at the top of the setup. Lidstrom gathers and fires a slapshot top shelf past Hiller and a Tomas Holmstrom screen. Homer will get the screener's assist on this one.
3rd Period 10:37 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (backhand) from Ian White
The Wings are again doing the simple things to move the puck the right direction when a net-front pass from Franzen to Zetterberg barely misses. Getzlaf collects it in the corner, but Filppula pressures him doggedly. The Ducks' less-than-hirsute captain turns to escape and throws a horrible pass into the middle of the ice in his own zone. Ian White smartly steps up and carries in on goal, trying to triple-deke Hiller. Beauchemin comes in to make a good play to get the puck off White's stick, but the Wings crash the crease and Franzen sweeps the loose puck in with Hiller to the side of the net covering the shooter. Filppula is going to earn a non-touch assist and a bonus plus for the pressure he puts on Getzlaf to force this turnover.
Penalty Adjustment (x2) Kurtis Foster goes to the box for hi-sticking Jiri Hudler in a play that will draw no adjustment, but on the power play, Babcock puts out his fourth line, which has played very well to this point. The puck comes out front and Brunnstrom gets in a battle with Lydman. Brunnstrom doesn't have body position on his man and is slightly interfered with, but he carelessly gets his stick in to trip up Beauchemin. This will earn Brunnstrom a minus.
Penalty Adjustment: 19:03 into the period, with the Wings up 5-0, Ericsson loses his focus and flips a puck over the glass from within his own end. It's a careless play and Ericsson will get a minus.
1st Period 04:58 - Maxime Macenauer (hooking): Weak call on this one and not a drawn penalty.
1st Period 15:55 - Justin Abdelkader (goalie interference): Abdelkader and Hiller are jockeying for position. Nobody has this position locked up, but Peter Holland pushes Abdelkader into his goalie and Hiller goes down easy. No adjustment.
2nd Period 05:29 - Detroit bench (too many men): The Wings are shorthanded and the puck goes near their bench area on a change. Nobody touches it and, in fact, the Wings are being so conscientious about not playing the puck, they allow a very good scoring chance. It was a bad call here.
+1 to Justin Abdelkader, Drew Miller, and Fabian Brunnstrom: The Wings' fourth line was constantly impressive in this game (despite two of them getting penalty minuses). They pushed play in the right direction.
+1 to Jonathan Ericsson: I thought he had a good game. I'm giving him this plus because I don't feel he should end the night with an overall minus rating because of a delay of game penalty late in a blowout when the entire Wings' defense played well.
+1 to Nicklas Lidstrom: On the other end of the spectrum, Lidstrom was an official +3 and that still doesn't do him justice. He faced the most ice time against the Ducks' only consistently dangerous forward line (Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan) and did the bulk of the defensive work which kept them not only off the scoresheet, but also a combined -52 for corsi.
+1 to Darren Helm: The speedster had it back to working phenomenally in this game. He killed 3:28 worth of penalties, had 5 shots on goal and went 9/12 on faceoffs.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk: Pavel was all over the ice taking the puck away, playing his ever-solid defensive game, and creating scoring chances for his linemates.
I thought the whole team played well. Zetterberg seemed to fade a bit late in the game and both Kronwall and Stuart had very solid games, but they both also committed turnovers. Commodore was good on the blue line as was White. Hudler showed hustle like Cleary, Holmstrom, Franzen, and Filppula, but I don't want to give the entire team bonus pluses on a night where I also felt Anaheim was considerably off their own game. It was a good effort and I'd love to see more of these.
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