Detroit's losing streak is finally over, but it took a big wake-up in the third period to make it so. The Wings played a careful road game through two periods where they struggled to keep momentum, but were able to get the result they desired after an embarrassing shorthanded goal by the Jackets early in the third.
To the referees' credit, they actually called penalties in the third period for a change. There was one brutally bad call and a handfull of missed calls, but we've definitely seen worse as of late. Detroit was on the power play for 8:52, but had six official chances, scoring on one. Columbus went 1-for-5 during their 5:39 of PP time. The Wings doubled up on Columbus in shots for the first period, but ended up losing that count 30-25 when all was said and done.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 04:08 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Jakub Kindl and Danny Cleary
At the end of a Red Wings power play, Jakub Kindl sees his dump-in attempt blocked at the top of the zone. Kindl is able to recover and push it behind the net for Franzen to get to first. Mule outmuscles Jack Johnson to get it out to Cleary in the corner. Cleary immediately turns it back to Kindl at the top of the zone for a shot in on net. Sanford stops this shot, but Franzen is on the doorstep to outmuscle the defender and throw it into the net to open the scoring. This goal was scored shortly after the expiration of a power play and before the Blue Jackets player was able to get back in the play. As such, this is essentially a power play goal and Kindl, Smith, Cleary, Bertuzzi and Franzen will all lose their pluses. However, Franzen is going to earn his plus back for using his body so effectively in the zone to retrieve the puck both behind and in front of the net. Kindl will also pick up a bonus half-assist for getting the puck in and then deep.
1st Period 06:55 - Columbus Goal (PP): Rick Nash (Brad Stuart): from Derick Brassard and James Wisniewski
The Penalty - Todd Bertuzzi (high sticking): Right off a faceoff, Bertuzzi gets careless with his stick and brings it down on the helmet of Ryan Johansen. Bad penalty for Bert, who will get a minus
Columbus gains the zone basically using Detroit's entry system where James WIsniewski gets to the center line and drops it to Derick Brassard. Cleary and Helm cut off Brassard's angle and he tries to dump it in. Cleary gets a stick on it, but can't control as Rick Nash swoops in and picks it up to release a shot that Kronwall blocks near the top of the circle. Cleary gets the puck first and tries to scoop it high out of the zone, but James Wisniewski stops it and goes back to Nash now standing just below the right point. Nash moves toward the net to back the defenders off before dealing it off to Brassard at the net-side point down low. This turns into a two-man cycle to get Nash clear of Niklas Kronwall. Brad Stuart is a tad slow releasing on RJ Umberger and Nash sees his chance to drive the side of the net with the puck. MacDonald stops it, but doesn't get on top of the rebound. While Nash crashes into MacDonald with the help of Kronwall, Brad Stuart has the loose puck go off his stick and under the goalie for the game-tying goal. It's a tough break, but Brad Stuart will get a minus for being a little slow to cover that near post and for poiking it past his own goalie. Danny Cleary will also earn a half-minus for the failed clearing attempt.
Penalty Adjustment (x3): Two hustle plays by Red Wings players lead to penalties. The first is on Cam Atkinson who brings down Brendan Smith chasing a loose puck back into the Detroit end. The second is Cory Emmerton outracing an icing call and being tripped hard into the boards by Brett Lebda for his troubles. Both Smith and Emmerton will earn a plus for drawing their respective calls. Late in the first, Jiri Hudler takes a hooking call on an obvious bad job of getting his stick parallel on RJ Umberger. Hudler will get a minus.
2ne Period Penalties:
Ian White 04:21 - Slashing: White gets his stick up on Rick Nash behind the Red Wings' net. Bad mistake by White ,who will get a minus
Jiri Hudler 12:33 - Tripping: Hudler gets interfered with here, but he also trips his guy. Minus for Huds.
Cam Atkinson 13:09 - Slashing: The Wings' PK draws a call here as Danny Cleary forechecks at center ice, forcing Jack Johnson to cycle back to an open position. Darren Helm gets in first on it and feeds a cross-ice pass for Cleary that he pushes wide thanks to the slash. Cleary will earn a plus for drawing this penalty.
3rd Period 02:13 - Columbus Goal (SH): Derek MacKenzie (wrist shot) unassisted
The Wings win the initial faceoff and get set up on the power play. Unfortunately, they lose this setup when a pass from Zetterberg to Filppula in the slot is broken up by good stickwork from Mark Letestu. Filppula recovers and tries to sweep it back to the point, but it kind of goes to a no-man's land between Kronwall and Hudler at the point. Kronwall tries a diving play to sweep it back into the zone, but all he manages while Hudler steps in to try and control it is to poke the puck down the blue line behind Hudler. MacKenzie jumps on the opportunity and heads up ice with it. Hudler doesn't have the speed to make up on MacKenzie while Letestu joins the odd-man. MacKenzie gets inside the faceoff dot before firing a shot that hits off of MacDonald and goes in. I'm not very happy about MacDonald letting this one in after getting so much of it, but that's a tough shot to block from that distance. Zetterberg and Holmstrom will be cleared of their minuses. Filppula's sweep to no-man's land is just bad luck, but it's bad enough that he'll keep his minus. It's the miscommunication between Kronwall and Hudler that can't happen. I'm going to give them each an extra minus. I don't care which guy backs off (Kronwall should), but one of them should have done it (Kronwall).
3rd Period 03:43 - Detroit Goal (PP): Niklas Kronwall (backhand) from Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi
The Penalty - Brett Lebda (interference): On a rush toward the Columbus net, Todd Bertuzzi gets Brett Lebda turned around just a little bit (thanks to holding him just a little bit) and the Rock Lebster returns the favor with a hip-check away from the puck. It's good gamesmanship by Bert, but he's lucky he didn't get one for the hold he put on. No adjustment.
The Wings nearly waste the rest of the power play after giving up the shorty, but Jiri Hudler carries up the middle of the ice to back the Columbus defense off before dishing off to Filppula on the wing. Flip pulls a toe-drag maneuver and shoots wide of the net. Bertuzzi collects in the corner and walks it up to Zetterberg at the point. Z steps off the boards to the middle of the ice while Kronwall steps away from that position to the left wing umbrella-top position. Kronner gets the pass from Z as he cuts from the outside of the top of the circle into the slot. Kronwall makes just enough of a fake on John Moore to give him space to shoot it on the backhand from the middle of the ice. This puck squeaks through Sanford to tie it up. Filppula will get the third assist for the carry-in while Huder will get the fourth. The zone entry here makes a difference in the Wings' ability to catch the Jackets' defense moving around.
3rd Period 08:26 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall
Jack Johnson takes the puck away from Zetterberg in the corner of the Columbus zone and the Jackets start out. Jiri Hudler steps up on RJ Umberger at the blue line to disrupt this. Umberger recovers the loose puck and tries to go quickly to Wisniewski joining up ice through the middle. Filppula gets his stick on this pass attempt and blocks it down to his own feet before recovering the puck and heading back to Nik Kronwall in his own zone to reset the rush. Kronner holds it to give Filppula a chance to circle back to the left wing before hitting him with a pass at center ice. Here, Flip steps around a flat-footed Rick Nash and gains the zone with an angle to the middle while Zetterberg trails behind on the left and Hudler takes up the right wing entry. Once Flip draws the defenders to him, he drops it to Zetterberg cutting up the wing. While Filppula goes to the front of the net (and gets knocked down) and Brad Stuart takes a foray deep to cut in on the back door, Zetterberg gets it to the corner and throws it at the net. Here, he catches Sanford preparing for a cross-crease pass and the puck squirts through him on the near side. It's an absolute gift goal, but Z was good enough to at least ask for it. Filppula will get a half-plus and half-assist for the steal and re-set while Hudler will also get a half-plus and half-assist for helping create both of those things.
3rd Period 09:15 - Detroit Goal: Jan Mursak (wrist shot) from Cory Emmerton and Tomas Holmstrom
Less than a minute later, Detroit's fourth line provides a cushion. Mursak and Emmerton forecheck near the Columbus blue line to force a turnover which is gathered by Ian White. After a quick give-and-go with Emmerton, White fires a pass to Holmstrom on the far side of the ice just past the center line to tip it in. Sanford pushes it up the boards to Darryl Boyce, who tries to clear under pressure by Emmerton. White keeps it in at the line and dumps it back below the net for Tomas Holmstrom to collect. Holmstrom fights off John Moore as he skates from behind the net to the far side half-boards before throwing a backhand pass to Emmerton standing in the high slot for a one-timer. Emmerton's shot hits Jan Mursak's stick just to the side of Curtis Sanford as the goalie gets into his butterfly position to stop it. Mursak takes the puck around the goalie's pads and puts it into the back of the net for his first of the year. I really liked the hustle and pressure put on by both Mursak and Emmerton, who will each earn a bonus plus. Ian White will get a half-plus for the keep-in and the third assist on the play. Homer was very solid on the boards and will get a half-plus.
3rd Period 13:52 - Detroit Goal: Valtteri Filppula (wrist shot) from Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall
With less than seven minutes to go, Valtteri Filppula ices it. Franzen dumps the puck deep for Sanford to get behind his net under strong-side pressure by Zetterberg. Sanford goes to Johnson in the corner, but the pass is a little slow and Johnson is a little casual with it. By the time he realizes what's going on, Valtteri Filppula is on him taking the puck away. Filppula carries behind the net to let a play set up, but doesn't see any immediate options down low. Still behind the Columbus net, Flip throws it all the way out to Kronwall at the point. Kronner collects and fires a slapshot which deflects off the skate of Vinny Prospal high and hits Mark Letestu at the faceoff dot. Letestu never controls it while he and Wisniewski close in. Before either Jackets player can get to it, Franzen sweeps it to the front of the net where Filppula waits uncovered. Sanford doesn't have enough time to even think of what a defensive disaster Johnson and Wisniewski are together before Filppula puts it into the net for his 50th point on the season. Filppula will also get a bonus plus for the steal from Johnson and a self-assist.
1st Period 02:02 - Derek Mackenzie (slashing): Mackenzie slashes Helm's stick out of his hands at center ice. Silly penalty for him to take.
1st Period 10:48 - Todd Bertuzzi (interference): This is a horseshit call for a guy who was just standing there when the contact was made to create this "penalty."
3rd Period 05:04 - James Wisniewski (roughing): Wisniewski is perhaps the dumbest hockey player in the NHL. Here, he's unhappy about awkwardly going into the boards with Emmerton and chooses to elbow him in the face for it.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg, +0.5 to Johan Franzen: I feel Franzen lulled in the 2nd period with the rest of the team, but Franzen had a better game than usual, to the point where he was downright good. I like when Franzen makes a positive difference. Franzen Franzen Franzen. Zetterberg was everything Franzen was except doing it in the face of tougher opposition.
+1.5 to Darren Helm: Despite being on the ice for the Nash goal, Helm's PKing was fantastic in this game. He pressured the points exceptionally, killed off time, and was an offensive threat.
+1 to Doug Janik, +0.5 to Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl: The trio of back in the lineup guys were good. Janik played 18:14 worth of good minutes, showing the calming veteran presence he's been putting out in Grand Rapids all season. Smith and Kindl both looked surefooted and moved the puck well. Kindl almost got himself a full plus, but he had a pretty bad mistake on a 2nd period turnover which cost him that.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart: These two stepped into the top pairing role and excelled at it, keeping Rick Nash's line quiet at 5-on-5.
-0.5 to Justin Abdelkader: Abby didn't have it in this game. He was not good on the puck or with playing the body. He played against tougher competition than usual, but his game is simple and he wasn't doing that.
I was very glad to see the Wings' fourth line getting a goal, as if it weren't for that official plus, they were definitely set to get one with how well they played. Jiri Hudler's penalty minuses told the story of his night pretty well, as it wasn't good.
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