By now we all know what Detroit accomplished on Sunday night when they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at the Joe Louis Arena. The Wings fell behind twice in this game after scoring the first goal, but were able to battle back and eventually take home the victory with some stifling third period defense. What's more important than the historical accomplishment though is earning two points.
The refs only gave two power plays the the Flyers, but the Wings were able to kill both of them. To complete the special teams' domination, the Wings scored twice on their five power play chances and again on a play shortly after the expiration of a penalty. Overall, the Flyers outshot the Wings 29-25.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 07:08 - Detroit Goal (PP): Niklas Kronwall (slap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi
The Penalty - Brayden Schenn (tripping): Brad Stuart carries the puck through center ice, faking a pass off to Zetterberg standing at the offensive blue line to open the lane just enough for him to enter the zone. Schenn jams his stick in on Stuart after biting on the fake and brings the D-man down. It's a bit of a dumb play, but I feel Stuart did work to earn it. Plus for Stuart.
The Flyers kill the first 1:15 of the penalty before Kronwall hits Filppula across two lines cutting toward the middle and Flip dishes off to Bert on the left wing to gain the zone. Bert holds the puck high while Filppula dives to the low point and Zetterberg takes the center lane drive to keep the PK honest. From here, Bert goes to Kronwall at the point as he switches off positions with Zetterberg to get to the front of the net. Kronwall goes to Z at the half-boards and re-adjusts his positioning to get a shot off from the middle of the ice on the return pass. Bobrovsky is caught guessing as he peeks around the Bertuzzi screen and is beaten high to the stick side by Kronwall's shot. Bertuzzi is going to add a screener's assist to his point total on this play with the excellent net-front job. Filppula will also pull an assist for his help on the zone entry.
1st Period 16:42 - Philadelphia Goal: Brayden Schenn (wrist shot) from Danny Briere
Joey MacDonald goes behind a net to handle a dump-in, but flubs it. Danny Briere gets to it first and feeds it out front of the wide-open net to Schenn, who easily deposits it. This is a bad goal for MacDonald and will clear the minuses for White, Hudler, Zetterberg, Filppula, and Kronwall.
2nd Period 05:22 - Philadelphia Goal: Brayden Schenn (wrist shot) from Braydon Coburn
Schenn wins a faceoff in the Detroit zone back to Braydon Coburn, who immediately fires it on MacDonald. Joey Mac kicks it right to Schenn for an easy goal. This is another bad goal by MacDonald and will again clear minuses. This time, the minuses for Stuart, Hudler, Zetterberg, Filppula, and Kronwall are will be cleared. Earning back blame on this play will be Henrik Zetterberg for losing the faceoff cleanly (full minus) and Jiri Hudler, who will get a half-minus. He ties up with Wayne Simmonds on the faceoff, but is close enough that he should be in the shooting lane also.
2nd Period 08:27 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (snap shot) from Johan Franzen and Ian White
The Penalty - Wayne Simmonds (slashing): Simmonds slashes Zetterberg's stick along the high boards in the Wings' zone. It's just another stick-slash penalty and not worth a plus.
The Flyers get an initial clear on the penalty kill and stack up well in the neutral zone, forcing Detroit to regroup twice. Finally, they change up their plan when Ian White fires a dump-in from center for the Wings to chase. Coburn is on the puck first just below the half-boards on the far side. Pressure by Zetterberg creates a mistake as the puck gets by Coburn and rolls straight to Franzen cutting off the straight angle out. Franzen immediately plucks it off the boards and goes to Datsyuk alone at the hash marks for a one-time snap past Bobrovsky to tie it. Very good adjustment by the PP unit. Zetterberg never actually touches Coburn, but he pressures him. I feel he's partially responsible for the error here, so Z will get a half-assist.
2nd Period 16:19 - Philadelphia Goal: Maxime Talbot (tip in) from Scott Hartnell and Matt Read
After a long shift in the Philadelphia zone, the Flyers are able to get a clear and get the puck up ice. Matt Carle tries to hit Eric Wellwood cutting up the middle of the ice, but Drew Miller gets a stick on it. Unfortunately, Miller can't control it and it rolls off his stick to where Matt Read gets to it first and brings it to the half-boards in the Detroit zone to allow the play to get set. After Talbot crosses to take up residence at the side of the net, Read tries to hit Hartnell coming into the middle. Scotty Perm can't handle the pass as he tries to kick it up to his stick and it rolls of his stick directly to Talbot, who tips it past MacDonald to give Philadelphia the lead again. The way this play develops, Miller, Ericsson, and Datsyuk deserve the lion's share of the blame. Kindl will keep his minus for not getting up to pressure Read quicker, but Abdelkader will be cleared behind the play. As Kindl steps up on Read, it's Miller's responsibility to step back into his spot and cover Talbot. However, Datsyuk is a half-step behind Hartnell and Ericsson gets caught in a half-decision which Miller recognizes. So Miller tries to step up on Hartnell a bit too late and leaves his man Talbot, Ericsson has a chance to step up on Hartnell and instead freezes, and Datsyuk doesn't quite have the coverage on the guy. All three of Datsyuk, Ericsson, and Miller are going to earn extra minuses for this coverage breakdown.
2nd Period 18:21 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (slap shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Brad Stuart
Detroit pulls even before the 2nd period expires with a great shot from a good position. The play starts as Danny Briere tries a wrap-around that goes through the crease and to the boards. Valtteri Filppula wins a race with Andrej Meszaros to poke it out of the zone. Zetterberg gets to the loose puck first and is pressured at the center line by Erik Gustafsson, so he turns back and throws a backhand to the far wing which hits Hudler in stride entering the zone on Scott Hartnell. Hudler cuts to the middle, but has his shot blocked before it gets through. Zetterberg charges hard into the fray to poke the puck over to the boards where Filppula recovers and skates high in the zone while the Philadelphia defense collapses in from rushing back into position. Flip goes across the ice to Stuart, who skates down the boards. He loses the puck here to Talbot, but is able to get his stick in on the clearing attempt. The puck bounces high into the zone where Zetterberg hustles to get on it first and keep the play alive. Three defenders skate in on Zetterberg at the point, so he goes back to Flip at the high boards. The only thing between Filppula and a shot from the middle of the ice is Danny Briere, so naturally Flip dangles him and makes the shot into traffic happen. The puck bounces off of Hudler playing in front of the net and Talbot again gets a stick on it to clear. This time, Stuart is there at the top of the zone to control it. Stu fakes a slapper and goes to Filppula in the low corner (on the opposite side of the ice where he had just stepped off the boards. Flip sees Zetterberg standing all alone in the middle of the ice at the top of the circles and gets the puck to him. Z one-times the pass through Bobrovsky to tie it for the last time. This is a beastly shift by Zetterberg which will earn him a self-assist and 1.5 pluses. Filppula's hard work throughout the defensive zone and around will get him a bonus assist and a bonus plus. Brad Stuart kept Max Talbot from clearing the zone twice and will gain a bonus plus for it. Jiri Hudler is doing a great job in front of the net. As the pass goes from Filppula to Zetterberg, the goalie loses sight of it and has to peek around right before the one-timer. Hudler will get a screener's assist for this.
Great in-zone control culminating in a one-timer by Zetterberg from right above the circles in the middle.
3rd Period 00:52 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg
This goal made me pregnant with awesome. Detroit starts the third period on the power play and gains the zone to go to work. The penalty expires with Datsyuk fighting Timonen on the boards. Pavs gets backed too far into the corner and Philly is able to double-team the puck away. Fortunately, the Coburn clearing attempt doesn't get past Ian White at the point. White takes a shot at traffic from there which is deflected just wide. Zetterberg is the first on it behind the net as he swoops down to pick it up and then heads up the boards. Here he's cut off by Talbot, so he dumps it back in. Datsyuk is first on this puck and again has Timonen on him. This time though, Datsyuk pushes away from the boards to prevent the D-man from bodying him off and allowing a teammate to steal it. This makes all the difference as he skates to the corner with some room to maneuver. Ian White makes a cut into the circle from the point here, dragging Bourdon with him and leaving Zetterberg all alone up top to receive the pass from Datsyuk. Zetterberg turns to face the play after getting the pass and recognizes Nick Lidstrom all alone behind the coverage on the back door. Zetterberg's pass is right on the stick of Lidstrom, who is facing the center of the ice. Lidstrom redirects the pass across the net-mouth to Franzen for the easy put-away as Braydon Coburn is left to sit and ponder why his teammates have forsaken him. Datsyuk will get the third assist on this one as well as a half-plus for his work. Ian White's keep-in and cut to make room for Zetterberg will earn him a full plus.
Penalty Adjustment: 06:43 into the third, Jiri Hudler gets tied up with Danny Briere behind the Philadelphia net and brings him down with his stick. It's kind of a rough call, but Hudler should know better. This will earn Jiri a minus.
Penalty Adjustment: With the goalie pulled and Philly trying to pull even, Johan Franzen gets the puck around Kimmo Timonen at the point and threatens to get to center ice for an empty-netter. Timonen drags down Franzen to prevent this and save the goal. Johan will get a plus for this.
1st Period 08:02 - Jiri Hudler (delay of game puck over glass): Hudler bats a puck out of mid air that hits the glass and bounces into the bench. For some reason, he's given two minutes for this.
1st Period 13:32 - Zac Rinaldo (charging): Rinaldo leaps into Jonathan Ericsson's head behind the Detroit net. Not a drawn penalty. Stupid, dangerous play by a dirty player. I hope he gets the book thrown at him (Edit, he got two games).
1st Period 18:42 - Wayne Simmonds and Johan Franzen (roughing): Both players engage in some after-the-whistle fun that Simmonds starts. The Flyer's forward is trying to play the pest and does it well. Franzen is lucky the refs evened it up, otherwise he would have gotten a minus for falling for it.
2nd Period 18:29 - Marc-Andre Bourdon (boarding): On the faceoff immediately following the Zetterberg goal, Detroit gets the puck through center. Bourdon hits Holmstrom right in the numbers and goes off for boarding.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk, +0.5 to Johan Franzen: Late in the game, this line absolutely took over the game. They were held somewhat quiet at 5-on-5, but they also kept the Giroux-Hartnell-Jagr line quiet, and that's no easy task.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula: Consistently awesome forecheck and neutral zone pressure created a lot of chances from this line. I thought Zetterberg was the Wings' best forechecking forward and Filppula was the backchecking specialist.
+1 to Nicklas Lidstrom: Lidstrom looked every bit the dominant shut-down defenseman he's been in the league for so long. The offensive rush by the Flyers stalled constantly against him.
+1 to Justin Abdelkader & Darren Helm, +0.5 to Drew Miller: The third line for the Wings has played like something special these last few games. I honestly don't know if Danny Cleary still has a spot on this line when he comes back.
Jonathan Ericsson was probably headed toward a minus until the third period. I felt he made up for turning the puck over in his own zone with a fantastic defensive shift about halfway through the final frame. Bertuzzi loses the line-bonus his mates got with an overall lack of focus. Sometimes he just doesn't get mentally engaged in the play and he misses passes or chances as a result. I feel he'd score more if he could keep his stick on the ice in front of the net. I continue to be impressed by the overall play of the Wings' bottom two lines.
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