Detroit won their 19th consecutive home game against the Anaheim Ducks thanks to some tough work in their own zone and a bit of luck on Friday night. It felt like Detroit got outplayed by the desperate Pacific Division team, but they were able to keep that all-important second goal out of their net and get to the skills competition where Todd Bertuzzi menaced the puck past Jonas Hiller for the game-winner.
The refs struggled to stay in control during this game and it certainly felt like they were running on an internal ledger to keep things even. The choppy officiating matched a level of choppy play that one might expect from these teams. It's hard to say who won the special teams battle here, as Detroit kept Anaheim 0-for-7 on the power paly, but also failed on all six of their chances, including an OT 5-on-3 that I'm hoping doesn't cost Detroit in a tiebreaker later on. Anaheim outshot Detroit 30-24, including 13-6 in a tight third period.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 16:17 - Anaheim Goal: George Parros (tip in) from Rod Pelley
George Parros gets the Ducks on the board first off a turnover by the Wings in their own zone. Ian White plays around with the puck behind the Detroit net while his team changes. The Anaheim forecheck makes him go to Ericsson on his strong-side corner, but George Parros is on Ericsson almost as soon as the puck is. Ericsson goes around the boards right past White with a pass intended for Johan Franzen. Mule misses the puck and it goes up the boards to Rod Pelley. The Ducks' forward immediately tosses it back down the ice where Parros has separated from contact. The puck deflects off Parros' skate and into the net. There's some question about whether this was a kick, but I would have wanted it to count for Detroit if the situations were reversed, so I'm considering it a good goal for the Ducks. The issue with this play is Franzen missing the pass. The puck doesn't bounce weird and it isn't too hard, Franzen just misses it, so I'm going to consider this his turnover. Mule will pick up an extra minus. White and Ericsson each keep their minuses for their involvement in this play while Bertuzzi and Datsyuk will be cleared.
1st Period 18:42 - Detroit Goal: Justin Abdelkader (tip in) from Jakub Kindl and Drew Miller
Abdelkader gets the Wings even before the period ends with a tip-in from a Jakub Kindl point shot. Helm wins a defensive zone faceoff and the third line gets it into the Anaheim zone for Drew Miller to chase. Behind the Anaheim net, Miller ties up with Fowler in a board battle in which Bobby Ryan gets involved twice. Both times, Miller is able to fight off the double coverage and keep the puck pinned. The second time, the double-team gives Justin Abdelkader room to separate from Ryan. Miller absorbs the contact again and kicks it to Abby in the low corner; he steps out from behind the red line and thows a backhand attempt which hits Ryan's shinpad and deflects back behind the net. Miller AGAIN wins the battle with Fowler and gets to it first. This time, he recognizes he doesn't have the same step on Fowler and throws it to Jakub Kindl at the half-boards before he gets angled off. Kindl steps back to the top of the zone with Nick Bonino watching him. Kindl's path takes him from the half-boards to the right point to the middle of the ice (meanwhile, Darren Helm cycles away from each of those spots as Kindl approaches to keep his options open). This movement leaves a hole in the middle area of the ice that Kindl takes advantage of by doing a quick little hitch-move to get Bonino's stick out of the way. Kindl throws a wrister at the traffic in front and it goes off Abdelkader's stick and into the net. Abdelkader is going to earn a half-assist on his own goal for his work on the play down low. Drew Miller will get both a bonus assist and a bonus plus. His intelligent board work is what makes this play happen. I like Helm's work on this play both winning the original faceoff and keeping the offensive options open for Kindl. Helm cutting in front of the play makes Beauchemin pause slightly to consider his movement. This pause keeps him out of the shooting lane that Kindl develops. Helm will get a half assist and half-plus. Kindl's smart work is also good for a half-plus.
1st Period 03:21 - Detroit Bench (Too many men): On a clear where Detroit sets to change their fourth line of Mursak-Emmerton-Holmstrom off, the team gets confused as to who's going where. When the call is made, Detroit has a center and three wings on the ice. Looking at what I can of the replay, it looks like Filppula's the culprit. He comes on with Holmstrom playing the high man at the Ducks' blue line and Mursak still standing at the far side of the ice. I'm going to give this minus to Filppula.
1st Period 12:42 - Henrik Zetterberg (inteference): The Wings are putting good pressure on in the Anaheim zone for a shift. Anaheim nearly clears the puck, but Kronwall keeps it in. Unfortunately, behind the play, Zetterberg isn't paying attention to where he's going and runs into Francois Beauchemin to take an interference penalty. Minus for Zetterberg.
1st Period 20:00 - Todd Bertuzzi (hooking): As the first period ends, Anaheim gets a very good opportunity to end the tie before the buzzer. As a result, Bertuzzi hooks Matt Beleskey and goes to the box. This will get Bertuzzi a minus.
2nd Period 03:35 - George Parros (interference): Parros and Holmstrom skate hard into the Detroit zone when Parros shoves Homer into Joey Mac. Hagman puts the puck in the net during this, but the goal is immediately waved off and Parros goes for interference. Not a drawn penalty. No adjustment.
2nd Period 07:31 - Jonathan Ericsson (interference): Jonathan Ericsson takes an interference penalty on an absolutely brutal shift which sees the Wings hemmed in their own zone for an extended time. The zone time for the Ducks is actually a direct result of a bad Ericsson decision and a turnover in his own zone. Ericsson will get two minuses.
2nd Period 08:38 - Corey Perry (interference): Perry skates directly into the path of Brad Stuart and skates directly to the box knowing that he screwed up. No adjustment.
3rd Period 04:04 - Valtteri Filppula (holding): Flip and Selanne exit the Anaheim zone together. Selanne takes a step directly in front of Filppula to interfere with him and Flip grabs him. Selanne makes sure to sell it as well. This really should have been two calls, but Filppula shouldn't be grabbing Selanne in the first place. Half-minus for Filppula.
3rd Period 07:24 - Todd Bertuzzi (interference): I don't have a replay of this available, as it happens behind a rush at the benches. From what I can gather of the announcers talking about it, it sounds like Bertuzzi and Perry make contact. The way Bertuzzi reacts to it makes me think that Perry stepped in his way and then dove, but I have no idea. Based on the fact that Bert had been warned about ten seconds prior for holding up Getzlaf on the boards behind the Wings' goal, I'm going to assume this is a minus-worthy call for Bert. I'll take video evidence that supports a contrary argument though.
3rd Period 09:22 - Matt Beleskey (holding the stick): Late in the PK, Nick Lidstrom is taking over the shift. He eventually gets body position on Beleskey and forces him to grab onto his stick to prevent a clear at a dangerous time. This will earn Lidstrom a plus.
3rd Period 15:08 - Jason Blake (goalie interference): Blake skates to the net hard with Jakub Kindl in tow. Blake uses the minimal contact with Kindl to bowl over MacDonald. The ref isn't having any of that and sends him to the box. No adjustment.
OT Period 02:27 - Brad Stuart (slashing): Stu chases Luca Sbisa into the corner of the Detroit zone and goes to give his stick a little chop. Instead, Stu gets the chop in on the hands and breaks his stick in the process. This is a bad penalty for Stuart to take and he will get a minus.
OT Period 02:56 - Lubomir Visnovsky (interference): Shortly after the Ducks' OT power play starts, Pavel Datsyuk challenges Visnovksy at the top of the zone and creates a break for himself. Ryan Getzlaf gets back on him to prevent a true breakaway, but in the scrum for the rebound that Datsyuk's shot creates, Visnovsky interferes with him. Datsyuk will earn a plus.
OT Period 04:06 - Corey Perry (tripping): While at 3-on-3, Valtteri Filppula enters the Anaheim zone on the wing with enough speed to turn the corner on Corey Perry and get a cut to the front of the net. To stop this, Perry dives shoulder-first into Filppula's leg to take him out. Filppula will earn a plus and Corey Perry probably should have earned a game for such a dangerous play.
The Saved Goals
Adjustment 1: With about 7:30 left to go in the second period, Saku Koivu gets a shot on goal that Joey MacDonald pops into the air and loses. The puck angles over MacDonald's head and is headed toward the net behind him when Valtteri Filppula steps in and plucks it out of trouble. Filppula will get a plus.
Adjustment 2: Off the faceoff following the Bertuzzi penalty, Anaheim gets a great chance from a point shot rebound. MacDonald is down and out after stopping the initial shot and the Bobby Ryan put-back attempt when Koivu gets a stick on the puck and lifts it over the goalie. Brad Stuart is standing in the backup goalie spot right behind him, but the puck just barely misses him and hits the crossbar. From there though, the puck deflects back down and hits the post. If not for Darren Helm's stickwork, this puck ends up in the net. Helm will get a plus.
+1 to Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart: These two were defensive stalwarts on their respective pairings. Lidstrom kept Getzlaf and Perry stymied while Stuart did a lot of the work on Selanne and Koivu.
+0.5 to Niklas Kronwall: Stuart's partner did have a lot to do with his success, as Kronner shut down a few rushes and otherwise played well. He made a few mistakes in this one (most noticeably getting burned by Selanne for a partial break), but I think he did more good than bad.
+1 to Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, and Drew Miller: Detroit's third line was again their best of the night at 5-on-5. When not at even-strength, these three did a lot of very good PK work.
-1 to Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi: The question with Bert becomes whether a fantastic shootout goal makes up for a game of limited visibility. Sure, the guy was in the box a ton too, but he was off his game. Franzen looked to have things together in the first, but by the last period, he was again skating to the perimeter and avoiding body contact. Very disappointing game.
+1 to Valtteri Filppula, +0.5 to Henrik Zetterberg & Jiri Hudler: This line lost the corsi battle at 5-on-5 barely, but I felt they played incredibly well. Filppula takes the puck to the middle and kills penalties. Zetterberg backchecks doggedly and creates space. Even Hudler gets in on the act when a winger is needed to backcheck.
-1 to Jonathan Ericsson: I'm officially ready to call him our new Andreas Lilja. He's a guy who plays solid defense for most of the game but can be counted on to create one guaranteed high-quality scoring chance for the opposition each game. Riggy took a step backwards in this one. Kindl was the more impressive D-man on this pairing.
Ian White was just about in the same boat as Kronwall, except I don't think he did enough to make up for getting burned by Cam Fowler on a breakaway in OT to also earn a bonus rating. While we're talking about sharing boats, Pavel Datsyuk by all rights deserves a minus with his linemates for how quiet they were compared to the Ducks' biggest scoring threats. I know that they did well defensively to keep Perry and Getzlaf off the board (thanks to Getzlaf choking away two surefire opportunities, but they have to outplay them. Datsyuk avoids his minus for his great PK work.
One final honorable mention goes to Tomas Holmstrom for game number 1,000. Each of those was played in a Red Wings uniform and each of them showcased the kind of hard-working team-first grit guy that Homer is for the Red Wings. Congrats to Homer on this milestone accomplishment.
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