The Red Wings lost in a shootout in a game where they gave up the lead with less than a minute to go; a game they had no business being in to start. Detroit played well in the third period, erasing a two-goal deficit, but couldn't close it out and found themselves on the losing end of a shootout for the first time this season.
Detroit had a full two-minute 5-on-3 and didn't score. I loathe having to talk about special teams at this point. The Wings are bad at it. The end.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 02:42 - Edmonton Goal (PP): Sam Gagner (snap shot) from Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky
The Penalty - Danny Cleary (tripping): Early in the first, Taylor Hall carries into the Wings zone with speed, cuts across the middle, and gets tripped by Danny Cleary. This will earn a minus for Cleary.
The Wings kill off the first minute of the PP, but allow Edmonton to get it set up with extended pressure in the zone. Hemsky, Whitney, and Gagner all combine on the left side of the ice to use their man advantage against Stuart and Zetterberg on that side to collapse them into allowing Whitney to sneak in from the point and get a slap shot off from a good scoring location. Conklin is able to stop this shot, but Gagner is on the doorstep to poke in the rebound behind a very dizzy Brad Stuart. The passing here is good to get Stuart moving around and with his stick on the wrong side of the guy standing at the doorstep. The bigger problem is Zetterberg pinching down on Gagner and leaving the lane open to find Whitney for the initial shot. Zetterberg's positioning will earn him a minus.
1st Period 05:41 - Edmonton Goal: Jordan Eberle (wrist shot) from Sam Gagner
Ty Conklin stops a puck behind his net for Brad Stuart to pick up and carry to the corner with Jordan Eberle in tow. Stuart tries to go up the boards to Drew Miller, but Sam Gagner steps in front of him at the boards and steals the puck. As Gagner carries down, he throws a sharp-angle backhand on net that Conklin goes down to stop. The puck hits off Conklin and goes behind the net where Jordan Eberle throws it right back on him trying to bank it in. Conklin, likely anticipating a wrap-around attempt has already left his butterfly position by this time, which allows the puck to bounce off his skate and roll across the crease. While four Red Wings within five feet of the goal try to figure out what's going on, Eberle uses his momentum to meet the puck on the opposite side and tap it in. This is a bad goal by Conklin, which will temporarily clear minuses for Miller, Cleary, Stuart, Lidstrom, and Helm. However, after clearing the minuses automatically, I'm going to give everybody on the ice back some blame. The pass from Stuart is a bit weak and he overskates the play, allowing Gagner past him in the first place. Stu will get back his minus plus a half. Drew Miller is standing still, allowing Gagner to step around him and steal the pass; then, he's one of the two players standing behind the Detroit net confused about his coverage. Miller will get back his minus, plus a full 2nd. Lidstrom allows Eberle to get around him and beat him to the front of the post he's supposed to be guarding. This will get Lidstrom the same two minuses as Miller. Finally, both Helm and Cleary are covering high (as in the bottom of the circles) for passes to guys out front, but I would have liked to have seen one of them recognize that the rest of their linemates were in serious trouble and stepped in to keep Eberle from getting to that puck. Helm and Cleary will earn back a half-minus each.
Penalty Adjustment (x3): 8:37 into the first, Niklas Kronwall catches Ales Hemsky skating out of the Edmonton zone with his head down and absolutely blasts the guy with a huge clean check. Corey Potter immediately comes in to start beating up on Kronwall and earns a double-minor when Kronwall refuses to have to fight for delivering a clean check. This is smart by Kronwall and will earn him a plus. While the Wings are on the PP, Henrik Zetterberg gets boarded by Ladislav Smid. This is more of a dumb play by Smid than a hustle play by Z, so there will be no adjustment. Much later in the period (officially called at 18:05, Tomas Holmstrom gets called for hooking in the offensive zone when he gets his stick blade in on Anton Lander after losing positioning on the boards. This will get Holmstrom a minus.
1st Period 19:23 - Detroit Goal (SH): Valtteri Filppula (Ryan Whitney) from Henrik Zetterberg
While on the PK, Brad Stuart catches Jordan Eberle with a bit of a mishandle and uses that opportunity to step up on him and knock the puck to Justin Abdelkader standing higher in the zone. Abby carries it down ice against Corey Potter, trying to deke around him in front of the net. Potter takes Abdelkader out of the play and the puck rolls harmlessly to Dubnyk, who is forced to hold it by Drew Miller following the play. This leads to an offensive zone faceoff for the shorthanded Red Wings which Zetterberg wins back to White for a shot on goal that Dubnyk kicks out. Cam Barker picks it up and skates with it, but he collides with Gagner in the circle to slow them both down and let Zetterberg get over to pressure. Gagner tries to pass it up ice, but the puck deflects off Z's skate to the middle of the ice where Val Filppula is skating. Flip gets the puck and turns back to the net where he flubs a snap shot off the heel of his stick. The puck hits Ryan Whitney down low and goes in off his skate around Dubnyk. The three men who earned this faceoff, Stuart, Abdelkader, and Miller, will each pick up a plus for helping make this play happen. Zetterberg will pick up 1.5 bonus pluses for winning the faceoff and for the pressure to force the turnover.
1st Period 19:59 - Edmonton Goal (PP): Sam Gagner (tip in) from Ryan Smyth and Ryan Whitney
The Penalty - Tomas Holmstrom (hooking): Covered above.
As time is expiring in the period, Edmonton gets their 2nd power play goal of the period. With 5.7 seconds left, Ty Conklin bails out Ian White by getting his stick on a pass designed for Sam Gagner out front. The puck gets within inches of the blue line before Ryan Whitney gets to it and dumps the puck back to Ryan Smyth at the half-boards with 2.4 seconds remaining. Smyth wastes no time throwing it at the net. The puck gets there with about half a second left, which is enough time for the uncovered Sam Gagner to tip it through Ty Conklin and in. Despite the tip, I don't like Conklin giving this one up either. He's playing to push the rebound of the initial shot out high and opens his five-hole in the process. a better choice is to just play big right here and let time expire. Conklin will get another bad goal. However, Ian White plays a fairly terrible set of coverage plays here, starting with the original pass to Gagner that Conklin has to deflect out and ending with him standing nowhere near the net-front as though he's anticipating the clear and not playing to the horn. White will get two minuses for avoiding Gagner like he stinks. Lidstrom will also pull a minus for not playing the clock right. If he realizes how little time is left, I think Lidstrom should have hustled to pressure Smith before he got the chance to get the shot off.
3rd Period 02:18 - Detroit Goal: Todd Beruzzi (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen
Early in the third, Mike Babcock switches up the lines and it pays dividends. The Zetterberg-Franzen-Bertuzzi line does good work to get the puck deep in the Edmonton zone. Z and Bert combine behind the net to get it out to Franzen in the low corner. While Jeff Petry goes to challenge Franzen, Smid backs off Zetterberg to keep him from stepping out front and Bertuzzi drags Horcoff around the front of the net. Franzen returns the pass to Zetterberg behind the net, who uses his body to let the puck by so he can turn and get a pass out to the front of the net on the other side. Bertuzzi has beaten Horcoff for positioning out front and gets a shot from point-blank. Dubnyk stops this shot, but Bert jams the rebound under him and in. The good low cycle by Zetterberg and Bert will get them each a half-plus.
3rd Period 05:49 - Detroit Goal: Drew Miller (wrist shot) from Darren Helm and Danny Cleary
A few minutes later, we're tied. Dan Cleary uses a body-positioning play on Cam Barker in the neutral zone similar to what Zetterberg did to Smid on the previous goal. This breaks Cleary in on for a shot from the top of the circle that Dubnyk stops, but the rebound gets past Gagner and allows Helm to pick it up and start the cycle. Helm goes to Stuart before receiving the pass back. Gagner tries to pinch him off at the boards, but a give-and-go with Cleary frees him. Helm turns back in the corner and goes back to Cleary up the boards. Cleary gives himself room by angling off the boards and dragging Barker with him. This decision gives Helm enough time to slip past Hemsky to the far side while Cleary turns inward. Cleary finds Helm on the far side with the pass. In the split second after the Edmonton defense all turns to face Helm, he delivers a pass to Drew Miller separating from his man out front and in great position to shuffle the puck in around the goalie to tie it. Cleary and Helm do great work here to open lanes and make space to cycle in the zone. Cleary will get 1.5 pluses and Helm a bonus 1. Brad Stuart will also get the third assist on this play.
3rd Period 16:19 - Detroit Goal: Todd Bertuzzi (snap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Ian White
Late in the third, it looks like Detroit is going to escape this game with two points after a Bertuzzi snipe shot gives him goal #301 on his career. Edmonton dumps it in to get a clear. Joey MacDonald pushes it to Ian White, who gives it to Henrik Zetterberg moving with speed. Z steps around a forechecking Eberle and into the neutral zone on the right wing side. Here, he turns from backhand to forehand to feed it to Todd Bertuzzi with space on the left wing. Bert crosses the blue line as Andy Sutton steps over to cover him. Bert fakes a shot from high in the zone which locks Andy Sutton into "Hit him on the follow-through" mode. Instead, Bert steps around Sutton and into the slot for a snapper around Dubnyk. Joey MacDonald will get the third assist on this play for starting it out to White quickly. Bert's okie-doke on Andy Sutton makes me laugh every time I watch it on replay and will earn Bert a bonus plus.
3rd Period 19:21 - Edmonton Goal: Jordan Eberle (wrist shot) from Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth
With the net empty for Edmonton, they get a bit of a fortuitous bounce and tie it up late. The Oilers get it deep where Eberle and Smyth double-team Brad Stuart behind the net. Smyth tries to feet it out front, but the puck deflects off Kronwall's skate. Hemsky moves in and tries to put it on net, but the puck bounces up off Kronwall's stick and lands in front of the crease on the other side. Eberle is right there to collect this puck and put it on net. MacDonald stops the initial shot, but the rebound sits there for Eberle to put in while Stuart scrambles to stop it. This is kind of a tough-luck bounce on everybody's part, but Brad Stuart has to eliminate the stick. Stu will get a half-minus for this. However, I also feel that the fact that there are three centers (Datsyuk, Helm, Filppula) playing defense here without one of them properly helping Stuart on the boards leads to this. Based on their positioning at the time, I feel Datsyuk deserves the extra minus for his failure to step in and help Stu. Valtteri Filppula and Darren Helm will not get minuses.
Goal Saved Adjustment: With less than 30 seconds to go in the overtime period, Edmonton gets a 2-on-1 that turns into a 3-on-2 rush which ends when Nick Lidstrom makes a save on Ryan Whitney. The play happens when Ericsson is caught sneaking in for a shot attempt that he doesn't get because the pass from Zetterberg deflects past him for Taylor Hall to pick up and come in on Lidstrom with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins joining. Hall has to saucer the pass over and RNH can't grab it cleanly. The time lost here means MacDonald is square to him when he controls. Instead of forcing a bad shot, RNH finds Whitney trailing the play right in the slot. MacDonald is not in position to stop this, but Lidstrom's got his back and is able to stop the surefire goal. Lidstrom will get a plus for this. Additionally, Ericsson will get a minus. It's not so much being caught by an unfortunate bounce, since you do have to take some risks in OT, but he's the first guy to get back and essentially covers nobody while this play develops. He was in position to prevent the pass to Whitney and Hall's momentum carried him around behind the net, making that the actual prudent play to make.
1st Period 18:05 - Mike Commodore & Ben Eager (fighting): Whatever, this was stupid.
2nd Period 02:34 - Ryan Whitney (hooking): Emmerton is doing his job to forecheck, but I do not see a hook here.
2nd Period 09:09 - Tomas Holmstrom, Ben Eager, & Mike Commodore (roughing): Cam Barker interferes with Tomas Holmstrom at the Wings' blue line. Homer responds by grabbing Barker by the head and pulling him down. Ben Eager and Mike Commodore get involved because why the hell not? Detroit ends up shorthanded. The best thing to come out of this whole thing was the FSD cameras picking up the easily lip-read Ben Eager calling Jonathan Ericsson something impolite. No adjustments.
-1.5 to Pavel Datsyuk: Not only was Datsyuk not as noticeable at 5-on-5, but he's completely failed as the quarterback of the power play. I feel it's his refusal to force coverage decisions by pressuring defenders which is one of the primary causes of the Wings' PP woes lately.
-1 to Johan Franzen: A secondary assist for an easy-to-make return pass and an observer's plus for not ruining Bertuzzi's rush got him to +2 on the night, but he wasn't that good. Franzen loafed through much of this game again.
-1 to Brad Stuart & Niklas Kronwall: These two seemed overmatched and slow by the Edmonton forecheck in this game. Not their best night.
-1 to Jonathan Ericsson: Big Rig also took a step backward from a string of good games with a stinker in this one. He was consistently half a step behind where he should have been all night
+1 to Darren Helm & Henrik Zetterberg: The two good centers helped turn the tide in the third period. These two moved their feet well and took space away from their opponents.
+1 to Todd Bertuzzi: Bert skated like a man possessed. He used his size, skated hard on backchecking, and most-importantly, didn't turn the puck over.
I still want to give minuses to the entire team for how disgusted I was with their play through two periods.
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