Detroit returned from a horrible California road trip looking to get back to their winning ways against a Washington Capitals team that has played significantly worse than they were doing the first time these two teams met this season. Detroit looked good to start, but then the mistakes started. Shortly thereafter, so did the goals.
Despite a 12-10 advantage in shots, the Red Wings found themselves down by three goals after one period by allowing two power play goals for the Capitals and giving them another on a defensive zone turnover. Detroit came out in the 2nd period fighting and were able to draw a call and finally end their power play drought, but looked like the team on the 2nd night of a back-to-back as the period wound down. Eventually, the Capitals would put home what would end up being the dagger on what looked an awful lot like a trip by Keith Aucoin on Kyle Quincey in front of the Detroit net.
Detroit positively dominated the third period, outshooting Washington 11-3 and scoring two goals to pull within one. The Wings were even able to draw a rare and late power play to give themselves a chance to tie it up. One minute later, Henrik Zetterberg took another penalty, ended the power play, and got to watch from the penalty box as Jason Chimera salted home the empty-netter.
Bullet points after the jump.
- If you've seen the movie 'Necessary Roughness' as many times as I have (and if you're a good person, then there's no reason for you to not have), then you're familiar with the scene where Coach Rig calmly walks into the locker room of a game his team is losing and proceeds to flip his shit on the team about how not a goddamn thing is working and that the solution is to go out there like rampaging beasts, tear some heads off, and defecate down some neck cavities. I felt exactly like that during the 2nd intermission. On a related note, it would take all of two seconds for the team to tune me out because life isn't a Scott Bakula movie.
- This game was like "Almost Redemption Day" for everybody. Kyle Quincey falls down trying a worthless check on a penalty kill to allow space for a goal to be scored and then he puts one in. Todd Bertuzzi reads all of the nasty things we've been saying about him for weeks and then he actually scores a net-front goal. Then the corpse of Danny Cleary wakes from its slumber (although I thought it was having a hell of a game up to that point as well), and scores the Wings' third goal off a feed from Brendan "that's cool, I wasn't doing anything with this puck right now anyway; you go ahead and take it and then score a goal and then also grope my mother in front of me" Smith. Also, Cleary had 8 shots. EIGHT.
- Ian White is no longer consistently leading the Red Wings' defense in playing time in the absence of Nicklas Lidstrom. That role has been grabbed by Niklas Kronwall, who is better at defense. Kronner was on the ice for 85% of Alex Ovechkin's even-strength ice time. I know Ovi had two goals, but those were on the power play. The Great Eight also finished the night with a -1 rating after being caught on the ice for the Bertuzzi goal. The moral of the story? Don't give the Capitals power plays.
- If memory serves me, Tomas Holmstrom has a bit of a habit of going completely off the reservation and going all Hamburger Hill on the ice at times. We all point and laugh and make plans to kidnap him so he can't hurt our team with dumb penalties, but nobody ever follows through. Perhaps that's because it seems like after Homer's worst games of pretending he's the Juggernaut, he reigns in all of that chipmunk fury and channels it into scoring goals. What I'm saying is that I'm extremely ready for Tomas Holmstrom to score a goal again.
- Since every time I get upset with the referees missing something I don't think they should have missed, a small gaggle of Sharks fans run and tell their teacher about me, I'll preface this by saying that I think the refs did a pretty decent job, all things considered. I mean they ONLY allowed ONE game-winning goal to be scored in this one, despite a slewfoot in front of the net that took down the defender who we're all thinking at least had a 20% chance of preventing it. The Zetterberg call was a good one, as was the Mike Knuble penalty.
- Jimmy Howard had a chance to steal this game for us and probably return us to swagger a game earlier and I don't think he did that. There are a million things to blame before Jimmy Howard for this loss (Like Michael Bay turning the Ninja Turtles into aliens), but I have a feeling that he's not happy with himself or his team right now. I foresee him taking this out on the next player to get within ten feet of his crease.
- Player of the game nominees are Datsyuk, Nyquist, and Kronwall. Choose wisely.